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!