No, seriously. That's it.
O, don't even bother clicking back through posts to see the sneak peek of the costume I made. Here:
She was going to be the Queen of Hearts and it was going to be fabulous. I used poster board to create a peplum bodice made of cards. I made a tutu with a train in the back... it had ribbons and other embellishments that made it over-the-top fab. I got the cards from the dollar store for $1, the poster board from the dollar store for $.50 and, to save on the budget, I used our old striped tights from Halloween 2012:
I bought $1.97 fabric paint and HAND-painted hearts on the knees. This was going to be the BEST $20 costume ever. I mean, I have a pretty high standard to uphold.
Our first Halloween, we were just cute. I got a fuzzy tiara for her to wear to daycare. She was cute but also less than interested in the tiara, lol:
For our second Halloween, we took pictures with cousin Kelly in matching pumpkin suits. She was SO cute and the happiest when she got rid of that ridiculous hat, lol:
I hunted all over for her third Halloween photo. Neither Hubbs nor I could recall what/who she dressed up as. I stalked my facebook (basically, my e-baby book) for photos. Then I remembered, Tati has made it her business to see Munch on Halloween. I saw the pic she captured for Halloween 2008 and I remembered:
Munch dressed in this pink poodle costume:
It was warm and cute and on sale at Old Navy for $10. Apparently, all of my photos were either lost in the sauce or not taken. Hubbs decided in July that he would take the lead for Munch's costume the following year. She loved The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and he knew she'd LOVE transforming into Minnie Mouse.
He purchased the gold sparkle 50th Anniversary Ears from eBay. He found the red sparkle light-up high heels. He got the deluxe Minnie dress... all because he didn't want her to look "whack." My only task? To comb her hair and make her face pretty. She was the cutest Minnie Mouse ever!
Even though that mouse nose was itchy...
Daddy did a good job... He got white gloves, tights and a turtleneck; she was warm too!
We went to a Halloween party then to my parents' for door-to-door fun. Daddy pushed her in her pink car stroller and Minnie was ridin' in style.
Didn't Daddy did a good job??
The following Halloween, we were sick. I remember because my house was upside down - dirty, smelly, a chaotic mess. I fell asleep folding clothes. I woke to Tati standing over me asking if Halloween was canceled. O, no! We all jumped up and got Munch (and Pee Puppy) ready to go. I made her a bee-themed bucket with ribbon, flowers and her name on it:
Did you see her and Pee Puppy's matching costumes? He wore a bumble bee hoodie to keep warm:
Thank goodness for Tati! She saved Halloween that year!
Once she started Kindergarten, Munch became more vocal about what she wanted in her costumes... she helped with the decor and everything.
I needed to recreate that hair, outfit and boom box.
I covered a treat bag with black foam core board, designed to look like a funky boom box.
SUCCESS! It was at this moment Halloween was taken to the next level. You can read more about it here.
She wanted to be Raggedy Ann in first grade (2012). I talked about my dilemma that year here. Once again, Daddy saved the day:
Last year, 2013, we found a fabulous dance costume in the thrift store and became the cutest clown on the block:
I wasn't sure if he was serious when he agreed.
Me: "So... when you say NO Halloween. You mean, she'll dress-up and just pass out candy, right?"
Hubbs: No. She can't get dressed up.
Me: So........ what are you saying, exactly? NO Halloween. Like, at all? NO *like* NO. Halloween?
*He turns to Munchface*
Hubbs: "Zion, you wasted your mom's time. She made that costume and you won't wear it. NO HALLOWEEN. Lights out. No -- you know what? You can pass out candy in your REGULAR clothes."
Islanders, I 'bout died on the inside. I felt the tingle under my arms and behind my knees. I mean, he just cancelled Halloween. My eye was twitching. Did he just steal my crafting candy-lovin' joy?
No time to stress, the kid needed to get in the bed and Scandal was coming on in a few... I didn't work on the costume, I didn't make a list for the following day... I just enjoyed our favorite show and went to bed shortly thereafter.
It wasn't until the following day, when I was walking into the office alongside a witch, a priest and a unicorn that I realized it was HALLOWEEN! I entered the office and doors were decorated, people were giggling... the Halloween buzz was upon me. One of my office neighbors said, "good morning! Happy Halloween" and I exploded.
"HALLOWEEN? WHAT'S THAT? I don't know what a HALLOWEEN is. Why, you ask? BECAUSE IT'S BEEN CANCELED IN MY HOUSE!"
I explained what occurred the night before. Ya know, how I must have blocked the holiday out of my mind. I was twitching all over again... a serious crafty mom malfunction was about to occur. To avoid a private breakdown, I did what every social media groupie does.
I went to Facebook with my problem, lol.
Anyhoo, the outcry was amazing. Hubbs and I received great support and encouragement from parents, teachers and friends who understand that sacrifices like this are made when necessary.
I would be lying if I said the pressure to show my GREAT work wasn't fueling my disappointment. I would be lying if I said I didn't struggle with this post because of the pressures social media places on people... on me.
Parenting is hard. People don't open up about the struggles. I, an advanced child, struggle with understanding things don't come as easy for my child. In a world of perfect lives projected all over the frikkin' place, I struggle with sharing some of my recent harsh realities:
- My kid has test anxiety
- Reading brings about an instant source of insecurity and intimidation
- She is scared to tell me when she does anything less than perfect on her schoolwork
- She has lied to me about her progress, and even grades, to avoid facing my disappointment
In my attempt to be the perfect mother, I have applied a ton of pressure on Munch to be a perfect EVERYTHING. While she is more than capable of exceeding my expectations, the pressure to be PERFECT is hindering her. It's my fault. Let me say that again.
It's. My. Fault.
It's crazy because I know exactly where it stems from.
She has been amazing and bright since the day she was born - walking, talking, potty training, learning, etc. - everything was a breeze. I was married and a mother sooner than most of my friends. Those same friends who don't have a child at her age, or children at all, say things that are insensitive and don't realize what it means for a mother to hear them. Most times, I am capable of brushing it off as ignorance. I know they'll one day eat those words.
I remember the same struggle with my marriage, owning a home, having my first car... Before you are in a situation, you vow that your situation will be different.
"In my marriage, we will divide the chores 50/50!"
"My first home will be everything I want so I won't pay for anything I don't want!"
"When I get my first car, I'll give rides to whoever needs them! I won't be selfish with my wheels!"
Until you're a mother, you don't understand the pressures that fall on a mother. You don't understand the different sacrifices parents make. You won't know what it feels like to have people pass judgment on you based on your child's appearance to the outside world. Until you're a mom, you won't know how to view the poor mom in the store whose child is having a temper tantrum. Until you're a mom, you won't know what it feels like to have people who aren't moms say things like:
"That kid is bad."
"That child is too grown."
"I feel like that's early for kids to..."
"I can't believe they let their kids do..."
Until you're a mother, you don't know about mom guilt. You don't know about feeling inadequate. You don't know how little you've accomplished in life. Having a little person look to you for answers, you want to be better. You want better for your children. You want them to be better than you.
In my case, I say ALL THE TIME the island is a safe space... a place where I'm tearing down the barriers of artificial perfection... but really, I just want perfection to be my reality. I'll keep it real on this subject.
My kid isn't perfect. You know what? That's okay. Her imperfection reminds me that I'm not perfect. I have a lot of work to do on myself and with my kid. To help resolve some of the issues we're having at home, Hubbs and I decided to make a better effort to stop being busy.
I always have a lot to do but it's important to sit still and do what's important. So, for the scrapbook, here's our Halloween 2014 photo:
The man decided at the last minute to take the kid to get fruit snacks. Six boxes... of fruit snacks. He also decided to dump them in my colander before I could put them in one of my MANY halloween-themed bowls.
I thank God for Hubbs. He keeps me grounded. He tells me all the time that I'm a great mother. He isn't perfect but he is the perfect balance to my high-strung, over-the-top crafty self. Like the Halloween photos from over the years show, it's not all me. We're in this together.
The three of us.
O... but she will wear that doggone costume next year. It just means I have one less thing to worry about for Halloween 2015. Costume? DONE.
How was your Halloween?