Monday, November 1, 2010

Just ducky

This year was motivated to make a Hallowe'en costume. The littlest W's favorite tv show is Word World and his favorite character is Duck. And when I say favorite tv show I mean he only wants to watch this show and nothing else. I'll admit that I've become a bad mommy during pregnancy and let him watch more tv than he should because I am so tired and uncomfortable. So thank goodness for Tivo because we can save up dozens and dozens of Word World episodes that I can play as requested. I thought a duck costume for Hallowe'en would be perfect since his current favorite color is yellow.
It turns out duck costumes for 3 year olds are nearly impossible to find. Ducks for babies, no problem, but for a toddler I was unsuccessful in my search. Which brings me to another complaint. Why do little boys have to grow up so fast? Boy clothes are cute, covered in teddy bears and baby blue, up until size 24 months, then suddenly everything becomes skulls and crossbones. I'm not interested in promoting piracy for children. Pirates weren't nice people. People would frown upon dressing up children like mobsters or gang bangers, so why are pirates cute?
I decided I'd fashion a duck costume myself. I figured I could do a puffy costume that just goes on the top half, similar to the Nemo costume I had seen the year before. I could do that out of some yellow felt, add a couple wing flaps over the arms, and put him in orange leggings. Pretty simple. Since I am a procrastinator I decided I'd better start early. I found some vibrant yellow and orange felt at Fabric Depot. I thought adding some yellow feathers for texture to the wings would be cute and was happy to discover bright yellow boas to match. That would save me a lot of hand stitching! I created and laid out a pattern at my mom's house, I like to talk things through with her to make sure that my ideas make sense and can be executed as easily as I think they can.
Then I just had to assemble it. As I expected I procrastinated some, but it seemed to go together pretty easily. I did double layers of felt for the wings and mom gave me some circa 1980s shoulder pads she still had in her sewing box. This saved me having to do clean stitching because I could just turn the wings inside out, and the pads gave some extra shape. Then I basted the feather boa along the perimeter of each wing. I had just enough boa left over that I added a little tuft at the rear for some tail feathers. I was turning out super cute.
But I had a problem. The littlest W was getting scared of Hallowe'en. He loves to read Curious George and in Curious George goes to a Costume Party George gets scared of a ghost. So naturally he is scared of ghosts now. But he wants to read this story over and over again, especially the part with the ghost. And there were some 'scary' Hallowe'en episodes of his cartoons featuring ghosts. Terrific! He started telling me that he didn't want to go to N's costume party because he was afraid of ghosts. To make matters worse, N was going to BE a ghost! So all the while I was sewing his duck costume I had to prepare myself that he might not even wear it. We might have to skip Hallowe'en this year if he was going to be too scared. I'm not sure why everywhere we turned there were scary stories being marketed to pre-schoolers.
As I was assembling the costume I'd have him try it on to check that it fit and functioned. At first he would balk, claiming he didn't want to go to a costume party. But gradually he liked wearing the costume and didn't want to take it off so I could keep sewing. I began to have hope. I wasn't sure how I was going to fashion the head part and decided not to make a hood that would drive him nuts. I just needed to find an elastic beak. I searched high and low with no luck until a couple people suggested I check out the U of O store. They didn't have exactly what I was thinking of, but they did have yellow duck bill shaped whistles. While it would be very obnoxious, I figured it would be fun enough for him that I could get at least one or two photos of him in the costume.
The night of Ms. Mc's costume party arrived and the littlest W wanted to go. He did get scared though as N, A, and Mr. B, her husband, were all wearing scary ghost or clown costumes. Every time I went to the bathroom he would freak out, even though he was having so much fun that he wasn't paying any attention to me while I was in the room with him.
The next night he decided that he did want to go trick or treating. The F's had invited us over since their new house is in Laurelhurst. They had also invited Mr. & Mrs. N and their daughter Ladybug. First the dads did a round of trick or treating and later on the moms did a circuit. Some of the houses were a little scary for the children, but on the whole they seemed to really enjoy themselves. I had taught the Littlest W to say, "Happy Hallowe'en!" after he received candy. It was pretty cute. And even though Ladybug is the youngest by 3 months of the children, she is exceptionally tall so she would reach all the doorbells for the boys.Something I'd never seen before, but was popular in Laurelhust was the honor system candy bowl. Maybe I ought to do this when we spend Halowe'en somewhere else. I don't know if I want to be fashioning costumes every year, but I enjoyed doing it this time.

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