As with the majority of American families with children, yesterday was a busy, fun filled day for us. Naturally, our young 'uns took their sweet time deciding on their choice of costumes for the end of October event. As a family, we shy away from the scarier aspect of the evening, tending more towards fun and creative costumes to add to the parade of candy seekers at the mall. We also enjoy creating our own disguises, rather than opting for the generic options available in the stores. While this adds to the fun for us, it can also result in a bit of anxiety when the big decisions come late in the game.
Thursday, rather than our usual Library and grocery shopping day, we headed straight for the thrift store, where we desperately searched for the items we could turn into the costume Nathan had decided on for the season. Fortunately, Lindsay had made it easy on us this year. She had chosen to go out dressed as a mouse, which just happened to be what Nathan had chosen for his disguise last year. To expand on the theme, Nathan decided he wanted to go as his favorite critter of the moment, a cat.
There are, of course, ready made cat costumes available, which would have made my chore a mite easier, but what would be the fun in that? Besides, I've found most cat costumes are either intended for the very young, or the young adult female seeking a more alluring effect. I was thinking neither would be appropriate for my 11 year old son, and so the search was on!
Initially we were in search of an oversized black hooded sweatshirt. I figured I could create ears easily enough by simply pulling up some of the excess fabric in the large hood. We were unable to find that particular item though, so we had to get a bit more creative. What we found ended up to be the conversational piece of the thrift shop!
In the children's section we found a girls black fur coat with a lovely long fur trim adorning the outside rim of the hood. We tried it on Nathan, which resulted in hilarity from all sides, especially from some Hispanic ladies standing nearby. Between bouts of laughter I could make out the words "Nina " and "Nino". Yes, I could certainly understand the mirth. Although there were some language barriers to overcome, we were able to communicate to the point I was able to explain my intention. All, including other shoppers observing the whole thing, agreed it was a great idea.
Thursday evening, we set our purchases off to the side and I had a heck of a time attempting to sleep while brainstorming how I was going to pull this costume off. Yesterday morning, I began by carefully snipping the decorative fur from the hood. I then cut a shorter portion off, and was delighted to see the larger length had a natural kink to it. One end of this larger portion of fur was then hand sewn on to the back of the coat. After trying it on, Nathan was happy, both with the placement, and the natural kink. It made a perfect tail! I then cut the smaller length of fur in two. Again, I was tickled to note the natural kink, and even more amazing, the point each had on one end. All I had to do was carefully stitch the fluffier end down on the top sides of the hood and we had ears!
A pair of Ma's black pants, the coat zipped up, and hood over his head, Nathan was all but ready to go. As Lindsay donned her costume, I proceeded to draw whiskers on Nathan's face with the black body makeup pen I had purchased for just this occasion. I then turned to Lindsay and did the same before we all marched outside for the big photo shoot.
At the mall, the kids' costumes were a big hit. One lady even warned Lindsay, the mouse that she might need to watch out for Nathan, the cat. We did notice some changes at the mall this year. I was happy to note there were fewer store bought costumes than in years past. Folks were being much more creative, and came up with some really great costumes for their children. It was fun seeing the different ways folks chose to unleash their creativity, and to see fewer repeats within the crowd. I'm rather hoping to see this trend continue. For our family anyway, it just adds to the fun.