So tonight's fun festivities,
après the homework/dinner/bath/no you cannot use my phone routine,
we begin a Beloved Family Tradition -
(Total lie, it is more, Geneva Convention negotiations, You Sank My Battleship, RICO violations thing)
And by "we," I mean ME, because the Adult In This House Who Is Not Named Allison is hiding at a doctor's conference meeting.
(Fine, he is doing good for the world and I am fighting over acetate dress up clothes, but still.)
Halloween costumes are fraught with challenges when you've got 3 daughters, all unique and cool and awesome except when I have to deal with them over Halloween costumes.
I have been bickering with V for a week because she wanted to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, and I can't have that happen.
Seriously, I did not know they were a thing again, and I protest the re-emergence of that nonsense.
Attempts at logic like
"How are you going to play your violin in the Spooktacular Halloween concert with a turtle thing on?" and
"This is just a very bad fad that will end soon, can't you just be a regular ninja? I am ok with that." fall on deaf ears.
Thank the heavens - The horrifying, awful, mostly child prostitute catalog came today.
I am not being sarcastic.
V skipped over the trashy stuff (I hadn't had time to see the catalog and rip up those pages)
and she went straight to the NERD.
In order to avoid ridiculous faux-1980's nostalgia bad cartoon turtle thing,
I have had to hand over my credit card for her to buy a Star Trek costume.
I am not a fan.
In fact, Star Trek works like Ambien on me, I fall asleep in two minutes.
Even the allegedly good movies recently - I accompanied Matt to the first one because it was his birthday or I was being nice or something,
and it was opening weekend and the theater was packed with people who did not want to hear me talk in Comic Book Guy From The Simpsons Worst. Episode. Ever. voice.
Matt was saved from having to drag me out of the movie for being awful (http://www.iwantanintern.com/2012/06/avengers-or-why-i-am-worst-by-allison.html)
because I fell asleep immediately.
So I don't know who V has chosen to dress like from Star Trek,
but I did make sure that it wasn't a Harlot Star Trek Girl costume.
I am SURE there are a bunch of those, and I don't want to know anything about that ever ever.
E, early bird child, has already established her costume and organized friends to coordinate.
M, seven year old stylist, wants to wear the same costume as last year - adorable spider princess colorful charming ensemble.
But get this?
She wants me to get her a NEW one, even thought the old one fits -
because the NEW catalog shows it with different stylish leggings and you can order a matching costume for your American Girl.
But not sold separately.
I am both impressed by their Evil Machinations and all sorts of furious at this catalog for tweaking the costume a tiny bit and reselling it as New and Improved.
So now M is acting bereft, Oliver Twist, Little Matchstick Girl over leggings and a costume for her doll.
And to distract me from my various rants, the girls were like, "Remember that one year this didn't happen?"
Of course I remember it, because the absence of Endless Negotiations Over Halloween Costumes is not something I would ever forget.
So I am now repeating "serenity now" over and over, and fondly remembering the one time I accidentally won a battle I didn't know I was fighting:
And now I shall recount my total fails and random surprise successes in the Halloween Costume Wars:
Trick or Treat?
Depends On The Year, A Saga: by Allison:
So this is funny, and slightly pitiful, but I can work with that.
To begin, we got the good Halloween catolog today in the mail.
And by good I mean, there are fewer child prostitute costumes in there than most other catalogs or websites.
People without kids or with only boys
(Note: those boys can be Han Solo or Avengers or whatever FOREVER, nobody makes Avenger prostitute costumes, I don't think, and if they do, I really never ever want to know about it)
may not know this,
but when you try to find a Halloween costume for your daughter once she is over the age of 7, you are pretty much stuck with Harlot.
Harlot Saucy Pirate Wench, Harlot Trashy Witch, Harlot Angel/Devil, Harlot Cat or Cat-type Animal, etc.
Or if you are lucky she will want to be Hermione from Harry Potter for 5 years and you can do the tie and robe and wand and you are good.
Otherwise, good luck.
Needle in haystack, and then you have to convince your daughter that she wants to be cute Ladybug Princess instead of Harlot Zombie (not making that up).
There is one catalog that makes expensive but not jailbait costumes, and it arrived today.
It is July, we have not recovered from swim season and I am working on a rehearsal for my upcoming flash mob (more on that later), why do we have to deal with Halloween now?
Is wrong season.
Pumpkins would rot.
But here is why:
The good costumes, the ones that will not involve fishnet stockings, sell out, and then horrible costume-scalpers sell them on ebay for hundreds of dollars, just so your daughter will not look like a Trampy Mad Hatter (not making that up, it exists, but I am not putting a picture because yuk).
And if you are not super-organized, calendar-consulting, up on this stuff type person
(Note: I am not any of those things at all, I really wish I were but it does not seem to be happening),
you will go to get Halloween costumes in mid-September, which is TOTALLY reasonable to me, it is early, I am all ahead of the curve on that, see kids, I didn't forget the permission slip, we are cool . . .
and you will find out that your 8 year old's dream costume of Eighties Girl (I should have saved some of my Forenza outfits) is sold out, backordered, going for 400 dollars on ebay.
And now she wants to be Harlot Goth Rock Star instead, and Matt is looking at me like, can we sew her something?
(Which? The answer is, No.
If it is me we are talking about, no.
I cannot sew at all.
Matt actually can, but he calls it "suturing" so he does not feel like making curtains turns him into Betsy Ross, but "suturing" a button onto a shirt and "suturing" Native American booties for a 3rd grade project is actually sewing.
I do not tell him this because I can't sew or suture, which are same thing.)
So two years ago, The Tragedy Of The Sold Out Non Harlot Costume occurred, in case that is not in your history books.
We all survived, E had to be like a purple appropriately constructed but weird saloon type dress and cat eared thing, I have no idea what that costume was about.
M was Pink Supergirl and V was Honeybee (not the Harlot Honeybee, there was totally one of those). Nobody would agree to be Hermione.
But the world did not end, and nobody was dressed like child prostitute, so success.
Last year, the catalog arrives, our house still smells like sunblock and chlorine and it is hot and I am not in mood, but girls turn total psychotic maniac children and chase me around with it until we order their costumes so that they are not stuck wearing something random because all of the good ones are sold out.
Eighties Girl is in there again, the other two pick out ones that are not indecent, we order, I am all "I bet we are the first people we know to order their Halloween costumes."
All smug, since I am not first or early ever, and this is a new experience for me.
But V goes, I bet Mrs. S already ordered theirs.
And I am all, the catalog came today! This very day! No way.
Mrs. S is a really good friend of mine with two girls V and E's ages, and we do things together and they go to school together and play violin together and it is pretty much assured that whatever activity is going on, she will be there first, with healthy snacks, wet wipes, foldup chairs, a defibrillator, whatever you need.
You might think this would make me hate her, but she is awesome and cool, calm and relaxed and fun, just naturally on the ball in a way I cannot possibly understand or emulate in any way.
She is also the person I call for questions I should know the answer to, like, when is holiday break, what day is the concert, any sort of information thing I am rubber she is glue, bounces off me, she gets it and retains it and uses it helpfully.
But is also fun to go have a glass of wine with, see movies, shopping, in general, she is great, so I do not hold it against her that she has it together and I am scotch taping Girl Scout badges on and such.
So to humor V and prove for once I am Most Organized Together Mom Ever (for this one second in time),
I call Mrs. S, say, did you get the catalog for Halloween, the girls picked out bla bla, and she says yes, her girls ordered theirs yesterday.
(Note: she is not gloating, she does not have any idea I am even trying to find out if she's already ordered hers or not)
And after we chat, I scowl at V, she is like, "told you," we move along.
So that was a very long windup to this:
The famed catalog arrives today, along with stupid back to school stuff and please, people, it is hot out, stop this, but V holds up the catalog.
And I am all, here we go.
And her face lights up, and she gets twinkle in her eye, and says, "Mom, you should totally call Mrs. S and tell her we have our costumes already."
And I am like, we do?
When did we do that?
Am I losing whole chunks of time now?
Did I take Ambien and buy 500 costumes late at night?
But no, she reminds me their recital costumes from Lion King show are awesome and they love them and want to wear them for Halloween, so we have technically had our Halloween costumes since May.
And V is not being sarcastic or snarky here, nor is she trying to start a "Who can accomplish this Mom task first" contest with Mrs. S because she knows I will go down in flames,
she just sees the humor in the fact that we accidentally already have our Halloween costumes and will not have to frantically buy them right this second or be Harlot Nurse this year.
And she knows me, and Mrs. S, well enough to know that we will both find it hysterical that my girls (through no proactive Halloween costume purchasing action on my part) have their costumes lined up.
Because I should take my tiny, random, accidental accomplishments in parenting while I can.
Because come Halloween, I will totally be calling Mrs. S to ask what time is the Halloween parade at school.
I really, really want an intern.