There Will Be Candy and a Bit of Spandex

Because you say you'll "never," and then you become a parent.

Every Halloween, I dream up grand plans to do-it-myself on my kids' costumes. We’ll visit every thrift store! We’ll get spray paint! I will sew something!

Then life happens, and we end up making a run on Party City at the end of October.

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Which is where we found ourselves last week, once again at the mercy of the costume wall while I did my best to roadblock the busty corsets and fishnet stockings in the women’s section. Not while you're under my roof. Or ever.

My oldest picked a Stormtrooper outfit, of which I immediately approved. Nothing says "full coverage" like body armor.

My youngest wanted to be the Cheshire Cat. In the early days (read: two weeks ago), I’d planned to get a pair of fluffy pink footy pajamas in her size and sew on stripes of purple fabric. Having failed one hundred percent in that endeavor, I’d left her with one option.

The colors are right, but this isn't really a costume. It's a striped dress. I felt her lack of enthusiasm when she emerged from the changing area. It didn’t even have a tail.

“Not quite what you wanted,” I said.

“It’s fine,” she said, shrugging.

I sent them to look at wigs and wandered back to the wall in search of something that might save the day.

They had a women’s Cheshire Cat costume – a skin-tight unitard number that, with the exception of a plunging neckline, was not unlike a pair of footy pajamas. With a huge fluffy tail.

I slunk up to an employee and asked for a size XS (resisting the urge to say, “It’s not for me!”) and sent my eight year-old back to the changing room with it. “Just to see,” I told her.

Five minutes later, we stood at the checkout.

“So, the Stormtrooper and” said the clerk.

“It’s not for me.”

She's worn it every night since. She's in love.

Ironically, it’s only perfect because she’s not a woman (yet), and doesn’t even begin to fill it out. If she tries to wear it again when she’s 17, we’ll have words.

But for now, it’s just a cat costume, and Halloween is saved.


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