Where I dress up in tights to amuse my children
Last night was Halloween, and with Halloween comes Trick-or-Treating, and candy, and, most importantly, costumes. A few months ago, we started asking what each of them might want to be — CJ seemed torn between Anakin Skywalker (despite his innate geekiness, he doesn’t understand that Anakin & Darth Vader are one & the same person) and Yoda. Leila wanted to be whatever you suggested that she be (which meant “a princess,” “a butterfly,” “Jessie from Toy Story,” “a bat,” “a My Little Pony”).
However, one random day, my son was at my mom’s house, and she had a toy catalog. CJ saw Batman toys, and became quite interested in who Batman was. Well, “interested” is an understatement, he started becoming obsessed with anything Batman. And, of course, as the number of days to Halloween counted down, the number of bats included in decorations increased…feeding his Batman obsession.
Soon after CJ discovered Batman, my daughter started demanding that her name be Princess. Certain members of my family are far from guilt-free in this transformation. But, as she demanded to be called Princess, she had to be “princess” for Halloween. And, if people weren’t going to call Leila by her name, CJ wasn’t going to stand for that, so he demanded to be called Batman.
And with Princess & Batman, our costumes were figured out.
The thing is, I can’t let my kids have all of the fun. So while Duffy set out to sew CJ’s Batman costume, and my mother-in-law started on Leila’s princess costume, I scoured eBay to put together a Robin costume, because every super hero needs his sidekick (even if his sidekick is about 6 times the super hero’s size).
With a Robin costume, however, there was no way around tights….fortunately, I have really nice legs.
In putting the costume together, I wanted to minimize any “throw-away” components . . . money might not be “tight,” but it’s certainly not plentiful — spending $50 on a costume that I’d wear once just wouldn’t fly. However, spending $50 if I’d get to re-wear most of it, well, that’s an entirely different story.
I started by finding a bright red, sleeveless t-shirt, and then a Kelly-green sleeved T-shirt . . . with one over the other, I had Robin’s top. Then I went searching for a pair of red shorts . . . but there were none to be found in men’s sizes. There were, however, red “cheerleader-style” shorts that I could order in XXL that looked like they matched the red, sleeveless t-shirt for cheap, from the same eBay store that I’d be buying the t-shirts from (meaning minimal shipping). All that was left were the tights.
And, on eBay, I found a pair of double-queen, opaque, kelly green nylons for a few bucks.
All together, I spend $17 on the costume, $8 of which I’ll likely never wear again. I had a mask for
bedroom play helping me to sleep while traveling that I cut some eye-holes in, and Duffy bought some cheap yellow fabric to fashion a cape in the same (though larger) pattern that she made CJ’s batcape.
Of course, my mother-in-law, who may take her “sewing hobby” more seriously than Yo-Yo Ma takes playing that silly ‘cello of his, made a tremendous Lapunzel1 costume.
I knew I had things right when CJ had spent the last week demanding that I put on my Robin costume. All told, it was a truly wonderful night.