Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween through the years

Halloween 2008
Duck.  She was two months old.

Yoda, 2009.  Extremely tired.  Didn't go trick or treating.
Halloween with friends
Her second year as Yoda, 2010.  Two years old.

Deviled egg, witch, mermaid, ghost, and Alison
Witch, 2011 (along with a deviled egg, mermaid, and ghost)
Mary Poppins at the Cistern
Mary Poppins, 2012.

Halloween on Cistern
Wonder Woman, 2013
We've had an excellent Halloween this year.  One Halloween tradition has been part of her life since she was born, and that's Halloween on Huger--a great gathering at a friend's home.  We all eat real food, and then we head out into the streets that are packed with costumed kids.

Three of the six Halloweens when Maybelle's actually gone trick or treating with the gang of kids, she's very politely refused candy.  "No, thank you."  She doesn't like candy.

This is a bummer, of course, because I love Halloween candy!  As a child I was only allowed to eat two pieces a night, and these days, if Maybelle brought home candy for me, I'd eat until I was sick.  But today was a stimulating day for her:  a Halloween parade on campus, a dance class in which the kids dressed in Halloween costumes (we all know Wonder Woman is a big-time dancer), and then the party.  She had a wonderful day, saying, "Happy Halloween!" every chance she got, but by the time the bigger kids were heading out to trick or treat, Maybelle was saying, "Larry's car.  Our new home."

So Larry brought us home.

Here are the notes I took on the Halloween costumes her class was wearing today:

  • Princesses or fairies:  8
  • Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz
  • Super-Butterfly (a combination of Supergirl and a butterfly, made by her mother)
  • Witch:  2
  • Pirate
  • Cat
  • Minion from Despicable Me
  • Wonder Woman
  • Obi Wan Kenobi
  • Stormtrooper
  • Captain America
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
  • Iron Man
  • Some other superhero I didn't recognize
  • An airplane
  • A skeleton
Notice some patterns?  There are more girls than boys in her class, so that skews the numbers a bit, but the boys were as drawn to superheroes as the girls were to princess/fairies.  If this were an Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies class, I'd make my students explain to me why those differences are significant.  What do they tell us about the gender roles and expectations that children are learning very, very young?  What is a superhero capable of vs. what a princess/fairy is capable of?  What do they do?

But it's nighttime, and I'm tired, so we're not going to have that analytical moment just now.  Instead, I'm going to get a bottle of water (candy-free) and curl up on the couch with In a Queer Time and Place (really?  Yes, really).

Happy Halloween!


  1. You know how much I love that Maybelle, and her dislike of candy gives her yet another notch as I do, too! Except for Reese's peanut butter cups.

  2. My little one dressed as a skunk this year. It's a hand-me-down costume, store-bought, but really nice, from her sister's hey day. It's been a plaything for a while now, taking up residence in our dress-up box. Little one chose the skunk, a warm, furry jumpsuit with zipper, over the monarch butterfly costume, which Mother had ordered and bestowed gleefully upon her last week.

    The wings were too big, they didn't fit right. And worst of all, they flopped rather than fluttered. As parents know, this is the proven scientific formula for preschooler meltdown. But they're sooooo pretty, Mother cooed. Young recipient screamed and wailed on the floor, rejecting wings outright, with much impatience and disgust.

    Oh, clearance-priced, saved-for-years-in-the-basement-skunk! My bringer of peace! How I love your rubbery, wide claws just right for burrowing! Your heavy pointed snout that sits aloft my child's head like a miner's cap! Thank you!

    Bigger daughter threw together her own costume this year, mixing and matching pieces from Halloweens past: her brother's monk frock, torn and zombified; her mother's glamorous red cloak; a Raggedy-Ann wig, unbraided, then appropriately teased and tangled into edgy glory; then the final touches-- everyday dance leggings and a faux-fur shrug sweater knotted above her diaphragm. boldly but casually.

    "So, how did Trick or Treating go, Daughter"?

    "Some people thought I was Little Red Riding Hood. Some guessed Witch."

    "What did you tell 'em"?

    Daughter smiles, shrugs. "Something like that," she had said.

    When she presented her design earlier that day we both took time to assess.

    "It looks good," I said. "You remind me of something from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A vengeance demon, I think. Yes. that's it."

    She laughed. "Oh, I love those."

    About my costume interpretation, she neither agreed nor disagreed. But she's rarely quiet these days when Mom stumbles. Later, I decided to read her wry look as "pleased," then sunk further into the couch, savoring the Whoppers she had tossed me from her loaded bag.