Friday, October 24, 2008

Getting Ready for the Freak Show

Yesterday afternoon I opened up our box of Halloween decorations. It is always fun to do, but never more than when the costumes and masks come out of the box.

A few years ago, I purchased a pack of 20 masks that was on clearance. It's nothing too scary; there are animals and monster-movie monsters like Frankenstein and a werewolf. They are made out of craft foam. We bring them out about a week before Halloween, just to get the kids psychologically ready for the freak-show that will come straight to our front door.

I will never forget my oldest son's first Halloween. His teeth were starting to come in, so I made him a black satin cape with red lining and painted a red onesie turtleneck with the words "Baby Dracula." I was so proud of him, and incredibly eager to have him with me when I handed out candy at our front door.

Unfortunately, he was just starting into the "stranger anxiety" phase. When the first trick-or-treater came to our front door, I went temporarily deaf in my left ear. The next day, my neighbor Janet joked that our house was the spookiest. "The screaming was so realistic."

After that, I decided to spend a little time preparing the kids before the big day. We make lots of opportunities for them to wear their costumes or experiment with new ones. Sometimes they choose to scare each other or just to play together. But after a while, even the scaring becomes playful. Last night, one of my sons wore a tiger mask with Dracula teeth and bugged-out googly-eye glasses. It was a hoot.

So, if you happen to come by our place anytime in the next week, don't be surprised to find some pretty spooky looking creatures. I've seen a mummy wandering around here someplace. He even had toilet paper wrapped around his head.


- Midwest Mom


  1. Such a cute story! I love Halloween. It is a great opportunity for kids and parents to be creative. My girls looking forward every year to go shopping for costumes. They always surprise me with they choice! Have a wonderful Halloween! i am sure your house is going to be the spookiest house on the street.

  2. I agree as well, a cute story. But I must admit. I stopped by to say great new Avatar! Awesome! Keep up the good work! :)

  3. This was hilarious. I love Halloween! Better make sure that there are holes through the toilet paper to see from! Or, there will be a lot of 'going bump in the night'! hehe

  4. Very funny and lovely post:) And the picture is so cute! Halloween can be a lot of fun;)

  5. Karina -- Thanks! We just love halloween, and are more into mild spooky than anything too gory. I can't stand it when my kids are frightened out of their drawers by an adult who should know better. The best house we saw last year had a kids entrance and a bigger kids entrance (for those who wanted a scarier time) through the back yard. I thought that was an excellent idea. Since mine are all under age 7, we went in through the front. :)

    intrepidideas -- thanks! I'm glad you stopped by! ;)

    Pentad -- thanks for coming to the blog. You're right, 2-ply paper is so tough to see through... and the quilting! Fortunately, it's nice and soft right where you need it. (Wrapped around you, of course!)

    Poli -- thanks. I love this picture. My son looks as though he just realized, with distress, that he's dressed as a huge fuzzy ladybug. "Mom? The guys are gonna laugh at this costume, aren't they?" "Yes, honey." "Will you help me take it off? ... Mom? Are you laughing into your dishtowel?" :)

    Have a great Halloween, everyone!

  6. To funny...screams needed a good chuckle....btw..on your k-nex post...I have like a million of those floating around my 10 year old builds all sorts of things with them....such a good product..just wish they could walk themselves back to their box..instead of lying all around my house.. :)

  7. I enjoyed reading your two halloween posts. That is such a good idea to prepare the child for the costume parade to your front door. We read the book I'm not afraid of halloween, where a child dressed up as a monster is excited about all the witches bats and ghosts that come to his door but when a frightful rabbit and dreadful kitten come to his door he runs and hides (it turns out his really is a monster). It's cute.

    I also made some caterpillars with Matthew after seeing them in your last blog, I tried to leave a comment but it didn't let me on that one (I was afraid I would wind up leaving six).

    Ok I'll end my novel to you now,


  8. Laurie,

    Yay! I'm so glad you tried that little craft. It's so easy, and my kids have all named theirs. It's so cute when they make something and it becomes a little friend.

    Thanks for letting me know about that book. We're headed to the library tomorrow morning, and I'll keep an eye out for it. One that we like is Happy Halloween, Little Critter. It is a lift the flap book about spooky encounters with costumed characters, and when you lift the flap on each page, you see who it is under the mask. Its another one that helps to keep the creepies at bay.

    Have a great Halloween. I've got cobwebs to put up. :)

  9. Great story...once I was all blacked up in some weird Hallowe'en costume getting ready to go to a party. When the taxi driver rang the bell I opened the door to him and he jumped out of his skin! Poor guy. I'd forgotten how dreadful I looked!


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