My son Declan loves the movie Cars. Loves, loves, loves. And ever since we broached the subject of Halloween, he was determined to be Lightning McQueen on the spookiest night of the year.
But here’s thing, while I have nothing against Lightning McQueen as a person, err, talking car… I really hate pre-made costumes. Particularly cheap, made in third world country costumes that still somehow cost me an arm and a leg. And if your child is as obsessed with Cars as mine is, you know the Lightning McQueen line of Fall fashion is bottom barrel of cheap. So, I thought we could take on making Mr. McQueen. With chicken wire and paper mache. What, am I a lunatic? Every weekend we even came close to thinking about attempting this marvel of craftmaking ability, I started hyperventilating so badly that I used all our paperbags up for breathing rather than costume-making.
So here we are. Close to Halloween, and back to square one.
But not really, because now I have an opportunity to bring Declan around to the idea of a non-Disneyfied, old-fashioned, pulled-together the week before Halloween with mainly things we have around the house type costume.
Ahhhh… memories. All those who have been “hobos” or “pajama ladies” before, raise your hands!
But the thing that I have loved is really talking with my kid about all this.
Explaining that the Lightning McQueen costumes were simply out of our budget: a lesson in money.
Explaining that not every costume needs to be a character from a movie or TV show: a lesson in anti-consumerism.
Explaining that we should look around the house for items to make a costume with: a lesson in recycling.
Exploring his options and coming up ideas for costumes: a lesson in creativity.
Spending the time together to make a home-made costume that he will remember far longer than a trip to Target: a lesson in family.
So, what have we come up with? A turtle.
The plan is to take a turkey pan, spray paint it in turtle colors and attach it to his backpack. Everything else we have ready to go. Easy peasy.
Plus, heck, if anyone really needs a character to attach it to, we can always teach him to talk “surfer” like Crush the sea turtle from Finding Nemo.