Monday, October 29, 2007

Crafts from the Past: Or why I don't make costumes for my daughter

OK, correction, I did actually make my daughter's costume this year, but it was a simple one. I have, however, resigned from making any remotely complicated costumes for my daughter ... ever since the Lady Train disaster of '04.

At that point in AK's life, she was obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine, and was watching Thomas and the Magic Railroad on a daily basis (a horrifying viewing experience, except for the strangely charming performance by Alec Baldwin). She adored Lady Train - the magic "girl" train that appears and somehow produces gold shavings behind her when she treks down the track (and that's one of the least weird things about the movie).

So it was decided, or really -announced-, that AK would be Lady Train for Halloween that year. I thought this would be a great chance to get crafty and come up with some kind of cool costume for her. I pieced together boxes, paper plates and paint stirrers, coated everything with loads of spray paint and topped it off with gold glitter accents. I figured out how to fashion some elastic straps so she could wear the contraption, and finally presented it to her - sure that she'd gleefully respond and request to wear it non-stop on through 'till Christmas.

You can guess how things went instead. She thought it was fine, tried it on for a second, and then - when it came time for the big Halloween party - she wore it all of five minutes. She refused to put it back on, and it was tossed aside. It lived out in the garage for a few months while I waited for her to suddenly decide it was "cool" and that she had to wear it.

That never happened.

Since then, I've been reluctant to even toy with the idea of making a costume for either kid. I did pull one together for AK this year - but it was easy. Black Beauty requires just a leotard and tights, some fake fur tacked on as a tail, and some felt ears and a mane tacked on to a headband. Not much to mess up there.

So for now, my costume-making abilities are spent on other people's kids, where I don't have to really worry if they wear them or not.

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