Monday, October 31, 2011

4th Grade Halloween

Ah, Halloween. 'Tis that joyfully spooky time of year when little ones masquerade as pirates, ninjas, wizards, the odd banana, princesses, or in Princess Commando's case, a Pokemon Trading Card- appealing for treats with their utter adorableness. Or, if they are in fourth grade at Princess Commando's school, they parade in the spirit of creativity... as vocabulary words. In fourth grade, the highest level of learning in an early childhood center, the students no longer join the rest of the children in the unfettered pageant of Halloween shrouds. As the oldest children in the school, they must partake in an innovative endeavor to bring to life a vocabulary word of their choosing. Years before his sister was to display her mastery of the English language- Henry, too, walked the halls with his classmates, illustrating his chosen word. He folded an old bath towel in half, cut a hole in the fold for his head, and glued dish sponges to the towel. He became absorbent

As I had already invested a great deal of time and effort into Princess Commando's Charizard Pokemon Card costume- which I painstakingly drew and colored by hand- learning way more than I ever wanted to know about the design of such a trading card, I demanded in no uncertain terms  wished for her to choose something that would be easy and inexpensive to assemble. "Let's do something that is like the word 'soft' but bigger than that word," she suggested. I handed her the thesaurus and she settled on a word which afforded minimally time sucking construction. She helped me hot glue 200 cotton balls and hunks of pillow stuffing to a white long sleeved t-shirt. I stood back, my fingers freshly blistered from unruly hot glue, satisfied with my handiwork. And she gave me the seal of approval- 'Yeah, it's fine.' But, I made a critical error in not having her try on the costume earlier than the night before her school Halloween party. Before her hands were even through the arm holes- the pillow stuffing began to shed and what was worse, she did not look at all like the embodiment of the word she had chosen. If I had not known already what she intended to be, I would have guessed she was 'bloated' or 'pissed. '

I took liberties, of course, with the illustration above. Her real costume was not even nearly as 'cushiony.' It was more mangy. And, I apologize in advance, to the lovely Mrs. F, Princess Commando's teacher, for not creating a reasonable likeness of her. I did not have a picture of her from which I could create an illustration. So I had Princess Commando take pictures of me posing and I reconstructed my face and hair and made myself into a generic teacher.

Below is Princess Commando's 'real' Halloween costume. I can't wait to watch her try to navigate the sidewalks and our neighbors' porches in full body- laminated poster board. Have a Safe and Happy Halloween, Everyone!


  1. WOW! That would aggravate the heck out of me as the parent. I have zero creativity in the costume department. ZERO.

  2. Kudos on the amazing costume! I once got stuck on a plane with a Pokemon enthusiast. I actually learned a little before my eyes rolled to the back of my head and I started to seize with confused boredom.

    I guess it's a good game for critical thinking?

  3. It's all so foreign to me. The kids in our neighborhood are obsessed with it. At the bus stop in the morning- they start throwing their powers at each other. I don't know what it all means. I'm scared.

    But I do know this, while we were trick or treating- her costume attracted the most attention from much, much older, white trashy, early 90's style head banger trick or treaters, "Dude, It's Charizard! You rock!"

  4. @Kristen: as creative as I think I am- Halloween shines a light on my inadequacies. One of Annalee's friends showed up as 'ampersand.' It was so simple- so ironic that a little symbol was called by such a big name. Her parents cut a giant ampersand out of black foam board and attached a cord which she wore over her shoulders. So cute, clever, and not embarrassing at all.

  5. AMY,
    Just love and admire your creativity! ANd that you find the time with 4 kids to do it!

    My youngest INSISTED on the scream costume. I refused to get it, instead providing ample opportunity for me to create a cute and traditional cowboy, or ghost, or whatever costume. There was no arguing. So I made my husband go buy it.

    At the school costume party, the blood pumper broke immediately, squirting out fake blood all over his hands with a dye that doesn't come out.

    I had to muffle myself from saying "I told you so" about the reasons behind MY wanting a traditional costume:)

    Happy November!!!!
    PS....LOVE the illustration!

  6. @Jen- that is hilarious- well, not for him. Even though you didn't say, "I told you so," you can use this experience for future requests you know are not going to end well. "Remember when...?" Or, you can just hope that a light bulb eventually goes off in his head before he scrawls something across his face in permanent marker like my oldest did last year.