Mini was bummed to be sick at her grandparents' house. The fear of sharing the germ with my parents left her no choice but to be confined to the hall bathroom. On top of that, she was going to miss a field trip at school that she was excited about. And of course, trick or treating was off the table for her. As an 8th grader, that translates to 'game over'. Trick or treating for a straight laced girl in high school is unlikely.
In the mayhem of packing up and moving in with my folks I ordered kids to choose a Halloween costume and put it in their overnight bag. Fortunately, our storage room is jam packed with options thanks to my years of devoted costume creations. Curly shared with me that she was deciding between Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird. Both part of my Sesame Street collection. I pointed out that she had already worn Big Bird as a 2nd grader, but she told me that she just loves that costume.
Ultimately she chose Big Bird. I tried not to be the older, tired, overwhelmed mother who is trying to survive a seemingly never-ending kitchen renovation. Without a mask to hide behind though, it was tough.
As I was clearing the first floor of furniture and everything that typically rests on the floor (ugh!), I took a few minutes and hauled this big ass costume out of the storage room. I handed it off to Coach, who was bringing a shipment of crap over to my folks' house. Remember Coach's reaction to moving out of the house for three days was just shy of divorce-paper-signing. Handing him a bulky, feathered, yellow costume in several awkward pieces went over like news that he had just been awarded a mandatory guest spot complete with singing the alphabet on the next taping of the Sesame Street show.
I do feel guilty about my lack of enthusiasm surrounding Curly's costume choice because back in the day I was the Halloween costume mom. I made multiple visits to the fabric store, and was comfortable with fuzzy fur fabric strewn everywhere. The kids would rush in from school to the hum of my sewing machine. They would peer into the dining room aka costume central, and jump up and down with excitement when they saw the progress I had made. Of course, I was always the wilted looking mom on Halloween after pulling an all-nighter to get the costumes done. Thanks to birth order, Curly's memory of the hype and my willingness to build something amazing has probably faded. Sigh.
Exhibit A: our living room in October 2013. Jim Henson workshop wannabe!
At one point I did utter the words, 'I hope this costume still fits you.' In our haste to pack up, I never went to the trouble of having her try it on. My fear was that the leg portion of the get-up would not work. The bird legs were sewn to the bottom of old Buzz Lightyear pajama bottoms. Yes, I cut corners. Sue me. The costume legs don't go all the way up to the crotch. I worried a bit that Curly's Big Bird would reveal the Buzz pajamas between the feathered bottom portion and the above-the-knee portion, because this girl is crazy tall.
Have I mentioned that Mini puked 10 times at my folks house on the 30th? I hung out in the bathroom with her for each horrible episode. In between I sat on the floor rubbing her back and at times even playing Boggle. I felt awful that she was trapped in that bathroom. I mean it is a huge bathroom, but it is void of TV and conversation. Anyway, thanks to so much time in the bathroom -Halloween kind of snuck up on me.
On Halloween morning I was getting ready to drive Curly to school. Since we weren't at home, she couldn't take the bus. Besides, hauling Big Bird on the bus would be too difficult. Before we left, we FINALLY did a dry-run of trying the bird on. This kid is tall and thin, but the bottom portion of the costume wouldn't go over her rear end. She stepped out of the costume after our unsuccessful struggle, but wouldn't turn and face me. I spun her around, and her face was streaked with tears. Oh, shit . . .