The Grinch of Halloween

by Abby on October 31, 2011

A green dog and a skunkAlways one to march to his own beat, Miles decided to dress up as a dog for Halloween this year. But not just any dog—a GREEN dog. You know how many green dog costumes there are for sale, people? None. Not a one. While a friend suggested I spray-paint a regular dog costume green and my oh-sew-talented MIL offered to make him one, I said no. I am his MOM. I think I can make my beloved son a simple Halloween costume, thankyouverymuch. (You know where this story is going, don’t you?)

I was feeling pretty good about things until I was up to my eyeballs in white faux fur for the second weekend in a row. Which, BTW, was shedding all over the house, worse than our real dog. I was attaching the stuff to a green hooded sweatshirt using the only thread I had in the house (orange) with the only needle I could find (from a hotel sewing kit). Did I mention I don’t sew? Because I don’t. The salesperson at Joann Fabric was openly mocking me because I didn’t know how much fabric a yard was.

So for the ears I decided to use craft glue, which was fine, except I didn’t let it dry all the way so I got crusty splotches of glue all over the hood. Then I couldn’t find green sweatpants anywhere. A friend generously lent us some. Then I couldn’t find green gloves or mittens, until the other day when I was out shopping with Riley and he found a skateboard and was sitting on it and rolling all over the store and threw a fit when it was time to leave until I bought him some jellybeans to shut him up.

Around the 5th store I realized what I ALWAYS realize (too late), which is that often, it’s actually MORE expensive (not to mention time-consuming) to make something yourself than it is to buy it. But this green dog costume was made with LOVE, dammit. And believe me, you can tell it’s homemade. (If you think he looks like a green goat, just keep it to yourself, OK?)

In case you’re wondering, Riley is wearing a hand-me-down skunk costume, which he’s been traipsing around in for weeks. Today he pooped in the costume, giving it an extra air of authenticity. P.U.!

Halloween PJsSpeaking of Riley, while last October he was deathly afraid of spiders, this year he’s obsessed with skeletons. This has led to several interesting discussions with his big brother, who tries to explain that we all have skeletons inside our bodies. Naturally, this doesn’t go over well with a fearful 2yo. The other day they had an exchange about some Halloween decorations that went like this:

Riley: “Dat skelton’s scawy.”

Miles: “That bone’s called a femur.”

Yay for public school education! And speaking of decorations, call me the Grinch of Halloween, but what IS it with the body parts and the fake graves? I am all for seasonal decorations like pumpkins and scarecrows, and you can throw in a ghost or a witch if you must, but I could do without the gore. Maybe it’s because we live in a city with one of the highest murder rates in the country (too close to home) or maybe it’s because I have little ones (too “scawy”).

In any case, I’m about done with Halloween for this year. If you need me, I’ll be relaxing on the faux fur-covered couch with some mini Reese’s peanut butter cups.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Ali October 31, 2011 at 5:39 am

The dog costume is great (I’m not lying!). Until I read your post, I thought it was a purchased costume. Seriously, what an awesome mom you are to do that for your son.

When I was a kid, making our own costumes was the norm. Is that not the case anymore?


Kathleen Basi October 31, 2011 at 6:58 am

Ali’s right–you have some latent artistic talent you’ve been holding out on us! 🙂

I’ve come to an armed neutrality with Halloween…it is fun, but the gore bothers me, too. I’m prone to take everything too seriously, and I just wish we as a society would figure out that we don’t have to make death so scary!


Angie October 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Make that three! Until you went into all the detail about how you put it together, it totally looked like a green dog suit to me. Now it looks like a green sweat suit with fur on the front. Just kidding! I’m very proud of you. Reminds me of that chocolate pie I was determined to make from scratch.

Speaking of gore, Blake freaked out when I took him into Party City today to buy green hair and face paint. (Master Yoda refuses to wear his hat)


Abby October 31, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Thanks, ladies! We added a collar and a nose, so he’s even more convincing as a dog. He did look pretty cute today as he left for school.

Ali, we used to make our own costumes, too. In fact, I’d even say that when I was a kid a homemade costume was cooler than a store-bought one.


Jennifer October 31, 2011 at 2:56 pm

You’re a really really really good mom. I don’t even attempt to try to make anything for my kids’ costumes because I have ten thumbs. In fact, you inspired my Facebook status this morning: a salute to all the moms and grandmothers who make their kids’ Halloween costumes by hand.


Cari October 31, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I am in agreement with you that many Halloween decorations are too gory. Especially the bloody arm people have hanging out of the trunk of their cars! I don’t think I paid much attention to Halloween decorations before having kids, but now that I have little ones to explain them to, I’m almost offended that my kids are seeing all this. Being a mom sure changes your perspective!


Lou Mello October 31, 2011 at 6:18 pm

The costumes are just too cute, and I definitely won’t say (BAAAA) cause I hardly ever even once thought it was a green goat.

I think i have always done hand made costumes for myself since I was a kid. No sewing involved, just throw on different stuff and see what sticks and then make up a story about who i was supposed to be. Oh yeah, that’s also what I do in real life, but, no need to alert the authorities.

I also hate the gore and have never seen any of the really scawwwy movies with chain saws or gross stuff flying. Scariest I ever saw was the original Alien movie…..and, ….wait for it…..I took my three year old daughter. YIKES!!! I thought it was another Star Wars fun movei…what a bozo! Oh well, there’s more to that story, maybe another time.


Catriona October 31, 2011 at 8:52 pm

I have major props for any mom who can make her children’s costume. I like to think I’m pretty “crafty” and I can bake like a fiend but my sewing ability is next to non-existant. I can put on a button and that’s about it. I’m VERY impressed with the costume. My little one was Buzz Lightyear and I was proud of myself for having two costumes this year as the originial costume of Horton had a HUGE wardrobe malfunction and we would have had a major meltdown without the extra one. I love little kids as animal too–that skunk is adoable. Hope you had a wonderful Halloween!


Abby November 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Thanks for your comments, everybody! I am laughing over the wardrobe malfunctions & movie faux pas (Alien, Lou?!) & the rest. 🙂


It's Not Like a Cat November 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Love it. Me, I woulda stapled the ears on, but I’m a lazy ass who also doesn’t sew and who is TERRIBLE with glue. Ugh.

I think homemade costumes are much cooler than bought. But as a non-crafty procrastinator, well…

As for gore, one neighbor has these two ghouls hanging from his front porch, swathed in black, six feet tall, creepy bloody zombie heads….and my 16-month-old LOVES them. He can’t get enough of them. He could stare at them all day long, laughing with glee. Kids!!


Melissa November 14, 2011 at 11:23 pm

i made Eli’s (my 13 mo old) costume! He was a garden gnome. it was awesome.


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