Warning: Do not, under any circumstance, attempt to replicate the following if you think (a) home-made costumes are cheaper than storebought ones, (b) home-made costumes are quick and easy, or (c) have any concerns about your child ingesting carcinogens.
It began, as many bad ideas do, with Pinterest. Due to some unfortunate timing on my part, I happened to look at Pinterest at precisely the same time as someone else decided to ‘pin’ a picture of the Lego Minifigure costumes she’d created for her boys.
I’m not a homemade-costume kind of person. I happily purchase overpriced polyester garments at the Superstore for my children’s Halloween needs. But. The Gort and the Hen are deeply entrenched in the throes of Lego mania. I’d managed to stumble upon a ‘unique’ costume idea that actually matched their interests.
Naturally, I concluded my boys would be Minifigures….even if it killed me.
Fast forward six weeks, and suddenly it was Saturday, a mere two days before Halloween. And we hadn’t moved past the ‘choose a costume’ stage. By ‘we’, I naturally mean the royal ‘we’. Because I had zero intention of cutting cement tubes and measuring cardboard. I was content to let my contribution be ‘pinpoint misguided and time-consuming idea’. After that it was up to the professor to make it happen.
So we went to Rona. To look for cement tube in two different sizes. And a piece of tube-shaped foam. (Perhaps there is a more technical name for it, but who cares.) And spray paint. And rubber gloves. And $53 later, the Professor suddenly had weekend plans.
Plans for Saturday and plans for Sunday.
I stuck my head outside on occasion to document the process, only to find my better half glaring at me with ‘seriously?!’ eyes. As in, ‘seriously, you thought this would be a good idea?’ The poor guy had to spend his actual birthday spray-painting cardboard, which probably makes him a candidate for pseudo-sainthood.
Forty eight hours later, we had two – rather smelly – Minifigures. (How long does it take for spray-paint-fumes to abate?) And we’d only had one ’emergency’ – when the Hen touched the wet spray paint and his older brother ran inside the house shouting, ‘Mom, mom, Henners touched spray paint! It says he has to soak his hand!’ In the same tone of voice one might have used if blood had been oozing from said hand.
Our very-literal oldest led his younger brother to the bathroom, and demanded he soak his hand. ‘No, don’t wash it, SOAK it!’ And when the Hen dared to dry his ‘infected’ hand on an ordinary bath towel, his brother nearly freaked out and all but insisted I incinerate it. The exchange was priceless, frankly.
When we finally hit the pavement at 6.30 this evening for the highly anticipated trick or treating, it became clear the boys would not be able to keep their cement-tube heads on for very long. Mostly because the heads were too big and the boys couldn’t actually see where they were going.
Which was a pity because, when the heads were on, nearly everyone we passed commented about the costumes, and how cool they were. But with the heads off, and in the dark, the boys just looked like greedy robots, tearing down the sidewalk in search of still more candy.
‘We’ opted not to make a Minifigure for young Percy. The professor was plum out of interest and I couldn’t imagine the two year old would willingly walk around with a cement tube on his head. Luckily, a friend had offered to loan me a little Batman ensemble worn by both of her boys. ‘It’s a little worn,’ she cautioned, ‘but it’s really cute.’ And, it was. The only ‘work’ I had to do was pick it up from her house: zero dollars and twenty minutes of my time equals best costume ever.
Everyone should trick or treat with a two-years-old, youngest-of-three-boys, at least once in their lives. The professor and I laughed hysterically as we watched our Minibatman race down the sidewalk to keep up with his brothers. Shouting ‘Appy Hallweeeeen’ and ‘I wan more candy!’ and ‘thankyou!’ With a level of public self-confidence we’d never witnessed before.
By the end of our one-hour excursion, his little Thomas the Tank Engine bucket was so full he could hardly carry it. But he was adamant. ‘No carry me!’ he shouted when I tried to pick him up. At a couple of houses, he could barely climb up the stairs, and I almost announced to the perturbed-looking-homeowners: ‘I’m not a candy pusher, he’s the youngest of three boys and he will not stop until his brothers do.’