Outside the Box

Babygirl and my third child, Bitty Baby, wear matching pig masks for no reason at all.

Have you ever really listened to what a kid is for Halloween?  Like, really listened?

Because they are always so much more than they appear to be.

  • “Are you a clown?” “I’m a creepy jester.”  Which IS creepy!  Totally creepier than a clown!  I will totally give you that.  Excellent.
  • “Are you Princess Leia?”  “I’m Princess Leia on the Death Star.”  NOT Princess Leia in a bondage bikini (inappropriate!) or Princess Leia with a gun (inappropriate!) or Princess Leia in that camo getup on Endor (not glam!).  Princess Leia, unarmed, with side buns, in a white dress.  Got it?  Okay.  M&Ms, please.
  • “Are you Super Man?”  “I’m Super Woman with a SuperBaby.”  Obvs.

(P.S. That last example is a real one that I got today.  The Super Man babydoll is like, super-critical to the whole operation.  Because without him, no one will get it.)

Babygirl is currently a prime example of the onion-like layers of the Halloween costume decision.  Babygirl, like all the baby girls in all the land, wanted to be Elsa for Halloween. So like any self-respecting over-achiever I got right on that project back in early September, fearful that all the Elsa costumes would sell out overnight and Babygirl would be crushed beyond repair.  (At this point my longer-term readers may note how I’ve recovered from my whole gender-bias crisis.  Princess princess princess.  Whatever.)

My perceived run-on-Elsa turned out not to be a major thing, mostly because Frozen came out about two years ago and most self-respecting over-achievers got on it way back in 2013.  But in my defense, the Target costume did arrive bearing a suspiciously poo-looking stain down the back (not cool) and did have to be returned for an upgrade.  (See?  Planning ahead still gets a point.)

Until, of course, Babygirl changed her mind.  She declared one morning (with zero context, I might add) that she would be dressing as a Black Tiger with Elsa Shoes.  And from that moment forward that is her story and she is sticking to it.

Let us begin here: What, precisely, is a Black Tiger?  Only one person knows.  Fortunately, she is an expert.  For one, it bears no stripes.  It is a stripe-less tiger.  There is no orange (or white, or color besides black) anywhere on the costume.  In fact, we had to go out and get all-black leggings because the leggings with stars and the leggings with lace trim would not do.  The costume — which, if I may pat myself on the back, has been declared PERFECT by its primary audience of one — consists of a black leotard, black leggings, black cat-ear headband, and black tail.  In short, the costume is suspiciously aligned with the “black cat” ensemble sold at most costume stores.

With Elsa shoes (which are silver ballet flats from Old Navy).

But if you dare to suggest that Babygirl looks like a cat she will correct you: “Black Tiger.  Actually.  With Elsa shoes.”

“So, is that, like, a panther?”
“No, it’s a Black Tiger actually.”


Get it right.

Most adults I know would get frustrated, having to explain something so many times, to so many people who just don’t get it.

It is a hard thing, being a child with a BIG imagination surrounded by so many small-minded grown-ups, hamstrung as they are by the pedestrian descriptions emblazoned on the plastic costume packages.

LittleMan is dressing as a Velociraptor.  But since he refuses to wear a mask, face paint, or hair adornment of any kind, he looks suspiciously like a blond kid in scaly pajamas with comically large claw-gloves (which, for the record, will be utterly useless in the procurement of candy and will undoubtedly wind up in my purse).

But that’s not the point.  The point is that he feels awesome.

And she feels like the Tiger’s meow.

So I challenge you: this Halloween, when you open the door to a band of trick-or-treaters, look beyond the obvious.  You think you see a witch, but  if you look a little closer you might just see a Witch Princess with Silver Eyelashes.

And SHE has one helluva backstory.  Actually.

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