We went to our first Halloween store of the year the other day.
Well, actually it was one of the party stores that cart out the seasonal crap when the season is upon us. The rest of the year they mostly move overpriced ‘balloon bouquets’ and maybe some Toy Story paper plates and stuff.
In any case, we saw the commercial on TV and figured we’d give it a go since Violet, our three-year-old daughter seems really, I dunno, Halloweenish.
Most mornings now, after I let her pick out which instant oatmeal flavor she wants (Bananas and Cream is tops at the moment) and after we slurp down our breakfasts on either side of the kitchen island, Violet drags me into the living room to “look at all the costumes.”
Basically, this entails me trying not to drip my coffee on the keyboard as I pull up eBay on the screen and Violet hollers out every possible costume idea that a toddler’s wild mind can conjure up. This is no easy task either, mind you, because the requests/barked commands come at me in rapid-fire procession, with barely time for either of us to acknowledge the intriguing fact that, YES…You could actually be a Castle for the big night if you really wanted to be.
Part of the sweet allure in all of this for me is how she asks me to check on each of her ideas.
“Daaaaad?,” she’ll start out with, knowing that it reels me in like a big flopping 200 pound smitten tuna when she says it like that. “Can I be….uhhhh….HOT DOG???!!”
And so yeah, I type in “hot dog costume” into the website’s search thing and voila: like 16,270 people dressed like a hot dog appear before us,usually kicking off around the $39.95 mark for the most basic, ultra-flammable, wear-it-once-and-it-begins-dethreading-itself-as-soon-as-the-night-air-touches-it, cheapo version of a an old hardy-hargh-har classic frankfurter on a bun.
I scroll down past a few hot dogs, wondering to myself if the dudes that are dressed up in the suit in the picture are professional Halloween models or if they work out on the loading dock at the warehouse where they store these things and are just in the pictures for a goof, or what? But I don’t get very far before she’s got another notion.
“Hmmm?,” I hum back, my mouth filled with coffee.
“Dad, can….I……be….,” she actually starts the question before she has decided the new idea, which I kind of dig since it keeps the ball rolling, so to speak,”………uhhhhh…..pirate ship???!!!”
“Hmph,” I counter. “That seems like a pretty super-cool idea, kiddo! Let’s check it out.”
I start typing it in but she’s already on to the next thing.
“Hold on, baby, look at these! Pirate ship costumes! Who knew? You CAN actually be one.”
And so it goes, one after another, for the better part of a half-hour every single morning, I’d say.
Penguins, wizards, policemen, kangaroos with “sacks”, baby T-Rex, parrots, Max (one of our dogs), Pete the Cat from Mickey Mouse, a cake, a hermit crab, a dolphin, a shark, a shark baby, and on and on and on.
She says things I have no idea that she even knew of, let alone the word for.
“Daaaaad, can….I ….be….uhhhhh…..Tibetan Monk??!!!”
In the party store that morning, I disappeared down a row of fog machines with my son, Henry. We ended up lost in the middle of the Greeting Card Forest.
Before too long though, I heard some familiar voices giggling around a corner. It was my wife and Violet. I hurried us toward them. That’s when I saw her.
My Bumble Bee.
Violet was dressed in a Bumble Bee costume, all antennae and wings and an adorable little honey jar for holding Halloween treats She was grinning ear-to-ear. I was in love all over again.
Of course, we didn’t buy it.
I didn’t want to mess up our mornings yet. Halloween is still six weeks off, and that’s a lot of mornings of coffee-infused costume searches I’d be cheating myself out of with my kiddo if she already had her outfit signed, sealed, and delivered, you know?
Plus, I already have a damn good idea what she’s really going to bee.
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