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Tuesday, October 26, 2010



    In the 80s I was a single mother living in Southern California.  I apparently needed to make it up to my children, for them to enduring having only one parent.  I was determined to be a SUPER mom and went out of my way (and into the wee hours of the morning) to insure that they weren’t short changed in the parent department.
                                                  One of my,  MANIC, projects was Halloween costumes.  They simply HAD to win a prize at the local parade.  Somewhere in September I would begin the CRAZED activity aimed at achieving MY goal.
           Old sheets came out of the closet, paper mache materials were accumulated, poster board and other items were purchased.   The various paints and markers came out of hiding.  The apartment began to take on the appearance of  the back streets of Tijuana . The kids would ignore the flurry of activity as, by now, (YEARS) they were used to my CRAZY projects and all the clutter and CALAMITY that went with them.  My poor son bore the burden of my creativity.

          I loved paper mache' however, I failed to realize the weight involved.  Like an idiot, I covered the mache' head with plaster of Paris so it would be stronger.  The head of my son's first WINNING costume was so "nose heavy" that he kept falling over forward.  After he fell head first into the bushes, and over onto his hands/knees (and over a witch, a bear and a ghost) he finally got the hang of it.  He had to walk with his hand holding up his snout.  Poor kid had a sore neck and arm for days.  He also lost part of his tail when a robot (deliberately) stepped on it.

         The head of my son’s second WINNING costume was so large that he couldn’t see out of the holes which caused all kinds of interesting accidents.  One of which was stepping off the porch and missing the steps.  He ran over his sister several times, and complained about the echo making him go deaf. He finally  had to hold onto the head (with both hands) in order to position the holes just right.  More sore arms etc.  Not once did he call me a lunatic (well, I couldn't hear most of his comments under the pumpkin head).

          By the third WINNING costume I finally got it right.  It was perfect and my son’s favorite costume. The paper mache head was only a partial skull cap and eyes.
However, (and you knew there would be a however, didn't you) people kept stepping on his flippers (and without the enclosed headpieces as before, one could hear that the what had first sounded like just grumbles were actually cuss words).          


              My daughter was easy.  She liked princesses, angels and clowns.  With the sewing machine burning up the midnight oil I managed to make her three winning costumes, too.