Telling Lies to Our Son

I’m not sure on which particular day it occurred to us, or to which one of us, but at some point over the course of Susanne’s pregnancy somebody had the giddy-making revelation that we would soon have the opportunity to dress up our baby for Halloween. We had total control over the nature, cost, and cuteness of the outfit, because how is a 2-month-old going to stop us? It was a dizzying amount of power, really. Over the next several months, we returned to conversations about The Costume. A lion? Maybe a bumblebee. Babies dressed as bumblebees are pretty damn adorable. Or maybe a pea pod, Susanne suggested. I worried it would be too derivative of Anne Geddes’ work with infants, but it stayed in the realm of possibility, which, if I’m being honest, was about as large as half of Delaware. We considered every possible Halloween costume, even ones we’d need to craft together ourselves.

It’s not that we’re big on pagan holidays, although Christmas with the gift-giving and all is pretty spectacular. It’s more of a combination of wistfulness for our own trick-or-treating days, an excitement about the baby having his own fun, and well, costumes.

But of course, idealism quickly gives way to reality, and then crumbles into deception.

Yes, the pea pod costume won out, as evidenced by the photo. These are the days that Emile will refer to when he’s 17 and lying on a therapist’s couch complaining about his batty parental units. But before we approach late adolescence and his need to figure out who he is as a person, we’ll have plenty more moments to explain why we dressed him in such a potentially humiliating fashion. Susanne made an approximation of a possible future conversation with our future toddler. According to her, it could go something like this:

Susanne: Halloween is a holiday where children dress up like vegetables. They go around to other people’s houses and collect candy, then give this to their parents in exchange for vegetables.

Emile: Oh. Why is that boy in a lion costume?

Susanne: Because he doesn’t know about Halloween. He’s celebrating All Hallow’s Eve. Now hand over that Kit-Kat. Would you like a carrot or an eggplant?

I swear, we’re not evil people. We’ll even let Emile have some of the candy, parsed out over so many months it winds up stale and inhospitable to his taste buds, and just in time for Easter. My plan here is to play up his slight Jewish background and convince him that he’s not eligible for a basket of still more candy.

Me: Jewish boys and girls celebrate the spring with a big party called Purim.

Emile: Is there candy?

Me: No, there’s hiking in the woods and playing outside. And vegetables.

Emile: Why does every holiday have to come with vegetables?

Me: Because God is punishing us for our sin.

Okay, I may be going off the rails. There’s no reason to pass down my Catholic guilt to him, I’m sure.

For Halloween 2011 I’m sure we’ll have more than a few kids stopping by to knock on the door and get whatever candy is on sale at K-Mart next week. I’ll be there to dole it out to them and smile grimly as I watch their parents hate me when the inevitable sugar rush crashes over their children. At least any hatred sent my way will be diffused among the other enablers in the neighborhood who agreed to ruin the next generation’s metabolisms, or whatever it is we’re doing.

I may even wear my Eeyore costume to hand out the candy if it doesn’t make me too creepy.

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6 Comments on “Telling Lies to Our Son”

  1. October 20, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    Emile is so lucky to have you! I hope he realizes this some time between now and adolescence.

    • evmaroon
      October 20, 2011 at 8:56 am #

      How kind of you, thanks! I’m just hoping to have fun in that sweet spot when he thinks we’re the coolest people around, so I can ride out the memories until his angst is over. 😀

  2. October 20, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    Drunk with parental power already? It happens. I once convinced my children that the entire state of Nevada was off limits to people under the age of 18, as an explanation as to why they could not join my husband and I on our Vegas vacation. Shortly thereafter, their grandparents moved to Nevada and invited us all out to visit. My children never quite trusted me completely after that. The pea pod however is nice.

    • evmaroon
      October 20, 2011 at 10:01 am #

      See, this is how social networking can help us, because everyone can get in on the act. Why not teach them early that the lines of reality and fabrication are blurry? It’s a great lesson that builds character!

  3. October 20, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    this made my morning!! so funny! we dressed 6 month old Brad as Pooh and as a bumble bee at 18 months. and what was our darling second child for her first Halloween at 1 month? nothing. why? because that’s how parents roll with the second child. I know, I’m the tortured second child in my family. we instead chose to spend an insane amount of money on Brads firefighter costume that year to help make up for the girl child we destroyed his only child status with. don’t worry, we put it on Jessica’s ongoing “what to tell the therapist” list.

    • evmaroon
      October 20, 2011 at 10:03 am #

      EXCELLENT! See, if you have a third, you can get the ball rolling all over again with a troubling mix of hand-me-down outfits and brand new ridiculousness made in China. Yes, I am the youngest, and I have survived being tied to a chair in the street and being told that I’d been adopted, and my siblings were now giving me back.

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