Thursday, October 14, 2010

Halloween Firsts

"I do not think I want to dress up for Halloween this year." my ten year old son says over dinner. I look at my wife and she looks at me and a hint of sadness washes over us. Halloween is truly a kids holiday, full of costumes, scary stories and of course mounds of candy. 
When kids are very young they have no say about the costume they wear, and since babies cannot talk or do much else, parents have carte blanche to drape their children in the most cute and cuddly costumes they can find. When my son was an infant, we, like all parents do, wanted to make his first Halloween special, and memorable for us. There was going to be a parade of kids around the building complex we lived, with awards given in numerous categories and we were up for the competition. Upon browsing the costume aisle at the store there seemed to be an abundance of butterflies and angels, bears and superheros. I am envisioning a race car outfit or mini-football player for my little guy, but those seem like obvious selections. When my wife showed me her choice it fit perfectly. That's when my creative wife and I went all out in the first of many Halloweens to come. 

Between feedings, baths and diaper changes, my wife and I researched, sketched and planned like set designers the theme our infant son would parade around town that Halloween. Our bright idea was not only to dress him up, but since he was not walking, why not dress up his buggy as well. We were so proud of ourselves and that our son was lucky to have parents so forward thinking and creative. The materials we purchased ended up costing more that the actual costume, but everything needed to be perfect for our boy. After the precise cutting, folding, staging, and pasting, the plan was taking form. When we were finally finished, we stood around the parade float buggy, amazed with ourselves and excited to show off our creation. We were all set.

Halloween arrives and most of the day is like any other way of the week, I went to work, my wife took care of our son. I knew the parade was going to start around 4pm so I leave work early (a rare occurrence in those days) but this was important, showing the neighborhood how such great and talented parents we are, and our son's costume. I get home close to parade time and my wife is trying to dress my son in his costume, and he wants nothing to do with it. I begin to stage the buggy with its design. I am taping down sections and adjusting parts when my wife puts our son in the buggy. Everything looks great until he notices the colorful pictures staged around him. Like any child would do, he investigates the decorations and pulls on some of the constructed items. I am trying to distract him from ripping the papery to shreds before we make it outside. We finally arrive at the playground where the parade is supposed to start. The sky is cloudy and the threat of rain is strong. People notice the buggy and come over, oohing and aahing over our creation and how cute our son looks. We thank them for their kind words and say things like "Oh, it was nothing" and "We had fun doing it." 

Our son on the other hand, does not comprehend what all the accolades are about. He sits in his buggy, dressed in a hot itchy fuzzy jumpsuit. The festivities of the day, the parade, the music and seeing the flashy costumes is what he enjoyed the most. We rush home after the parade and before the downpour sets in. We do the feeding, bath and diaper change routine and lay our son down for sleep. My wife and I both close the bedroom door and walk into the living room. I spot the buggy, papered, and taped up with our hard work. "What do you want to do with the buggy stuff?" I ask. "Lets take it off." My wife responds. I precede to strip the buggy down until it is restored to its original look.

As we lay in bed that night, we recall the events leading up to Halloween and the fun we had with it, after all it was not only our son's first Halloween, it was our first as parents. 

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Dad Central Consulting and they sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”
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