This year I made the executive decision that Geekygirl was too young to really care what she dressed up as for halloween, and that we were too busy to take her out on a weekend to a costume store to select one for herself. Instead I picked up a cute 'bumble bee fairy' costume in Target well in advance of halloween, congratulating myself on avoiding the usual last minute scrambling through the sale racks for something suitable, and finding something that she would like, since she loves insects. Well she used to love insects. The costume was tried on and approved , and even enjoyed and worn last week to our local 'pumpkin walk'.
But rumblings of dissent had started a few days earlier. On the way home from daycare one day I heard "Sean is going to be a dinosaur for halloween. I going to be a kitty". The daycare teachers must have planted the seed that children get to choose what they want to be for halloween, rather than have constumes thrust on them by their parents. I must have a word with them about that.
"I thought you were going to be a bumble bee fairy?" I replied. "I want to be kitty" she retorted. "Hmm, a kitty would be a nice costume, maybe next year" I said mildly, hoping to diffuse the desire.
But every morning and evening Geekygirl would look at her pretty bumble bee costume sitting on the shelf and say "Whats that Mummy". The reply was always "That's your bumble bee fairy costume for halloween". And every day she would reply "I don't want to be bumble bee fairy. I want to be kitty to Halloween." Each day the fantasy seemed to get more vivid: "a fluffy kitty", "A pink fluffy kitty", "A pink, fluffy kitty with a long tail". It was amazing to me to see how she was envisioning herself in a kitty costume, that she had a vivid mental picture of how she wanted to look. But what was I going to do about it?
This was a real parenting dilemma; on one hand I wanted to encourage my daughter's imagination and share her fantasy, and get her a perfect kitty costume. On the other hand she already had a costume and I didn't want to over indulge her and teach her that she can have whatever she asks for at the drop of a hat. I decided not to hunt for another costume. But I found myself nipping out from work to buy lunch at places that "just happened" to be next to target, or Walgreens, or toysRus, and popping in "just in case" they had the perfect cat costume sitting on the rack. But no luck. I was resigned to persuading her to be a miserable bumble bee fairy, when I recalled a post on our neighborhood parents Yahoo group a week or so back advertising a kitty cat costume for sale. I hunted through my email trash, found the message, called my neighbor and sure enough she still had the costume for sale. We stopped at her house on the way home and I picked up the costume. Geekgirl was thrilled. "Its pink and fluffy!" she exclaimed from her carseat. On further examination "It has ears!", and then a few moments later "It has a LONG TAIL!".
The kitty costume has been worn every night since we got it. Geekygirl is throwing herself into her cat persona, scratching and licking her paws, and is so excited about being a kitty at daycare today. My trip to Barcelona was mercifully canceled so I get to enjoy the holiday with the family. Now, if only the rain will let up by tonight, maybe this will be a perfect halloween after all!