A few weeks before Halloween, when asked what he wanted to dress up as, River informed his father that his costume of choice was a spider. Not spiderman. An actual spider. You see, River is a lover of animals. And reptiles. And things that make me shriek in terror when I spot them crawling up my bedroom wall.
So, his dad ordered two different spider costumes, talked excitedly about it forever and ever in a loud exaggerated voice, all about the SPIDER COSTUME! And TRICK OR TREATING AS A SPIDER! WOOO SPIDER! BOO YAH! CANDY! And naturally, on the day of Halloween, River took one look at the costume options and started screaming. This one’s too fuzzy!! The other too itchy!! Both were too spideryyy WAHHHHHH!!
I was immediately transported to various Halloweens of my youth. I don’t think I threw any costume tantrums as I preferred to complain about the weather and bodily aches and pains. (It’s raining!! My feet hurt! I want to go home!!) My younger sister on the other hand was a total pro with regards to bitching about costumes, clothing, shoes, all of it. Halloween or any old time now that I think of it. IT’S ITCHY! IT’S TOO PURPLE! IT’S TOUCHING MY SKIN!!
I can still recall the melodious sounds of my mother and sister screaming from the upstairs hallway throughout my childhood.
JUST PUT IT ON, WE ARE GOING TO CHURCH!
IT IS SCRATCHING MY FACE OFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!!
My mother seems somewhat apologetic about it now.
“She was completely insane about clothing. I kind of wonder if she had some sort of sensory disorder.”
“You mean, like, she had legitimate complaints?”
“Um. Yeah, I think so.”
“But back then, she was just annoying?”
“Yeah. I didn’t have the patience. So I just screamed at her and told her to get dressed.”
“I’m not sure that was effective.”
So! River decided he was not going anywhere NEAR the spider costume. Unlike my mother, his father chose not to yell and just threw up his hands in exasperation and told him to take it up with me while he ripped out his hair in the kitchen and took a few deep breaths because WHY ARE FIVE YEAR OLDS CRAZY and WHY DID I BUY A $100 SPIDER COSTUME and WHERE IS MY CUPBOARD FULL OF SCOTCH!?
I decided not to push the issue as River looked to be on the brink of a nervous breakdown. I settled upon using my creativity and sheer wit (B.F.A. in Music Theatre! HOLLER AT ME!) and figured the best thing to do was to grab a straw hat and a bandana and christen Riv a cowboy all the while pulling the spider costume on myself and declaring the holiday a dazzling success.
River’s Dad: I can’t believe that things fits you.
Me: I KNOW! And I just happened to be wearing black leggings today. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?
River’s Dad: Are you seriously going out in that?
Me: DUDE! THIS THING ROCKS!
River’s Dad: The musical theater inside you is bursting with pride right now, isn’t it? JAZZ HANDS, AM I RIGHT?!
Me: SHUT UPPPPPPPP!
I trick-or-treated around the better part of Battery Park City and the twins’ entire apartment building with three fuzzy arms protruding from my sides (why not four? Don’t spiders have eight limbs?) and an amazing spider top hat (what??) while Fireman Owen and Cowboy River scored tons of candy. I was very helpful in suggesting the better option when a bowl was presented and they were allowed to choose.
“No, no, dude! Pick the Twix bar! ALWAYS!”
“I think peanut butter m&m’s would be the better choice here. BY FAR.”
“SUGAR DADDIES? PUT THEM BACK OWEN! WORST IDEA EVER!”
I also enjoyed educating them about the English language as we wandered throughout the afternoon, often referring to us a “posse” and to them as my “peeps” which means friends. I realized I had taken things too far when I gently prodded Owen to mind his manners after taking a handful of candy with an “Owen, what do you say?” and instead of saying “thank you”, he blurted out “WORRRRD!” and slapped some elderly lady a high five before running down the hallway.
These children, oh man. I’m not sure if the joy I bring them outweighs the ghetto. Only time will tell. In the mean time, I’ve still got a kickass bag full of Twix bars to go through every time I babysit. WORD TO MAH PEEPZ! THX 4 THE KANDEE!!!1!!