31 October 2011

It's Alive!

Tonight is Halloween. Although, in reality, it’s been Halloween around here for about a month or so. Actually longer. We procured the Doozer’s costume way back in early September. Last year, he was obsessed with scarecrows that decorated the town square, in particular the one of Frankenstein’s Monster. As literary accuracy is a prized commodity in our house, this is exactly what we told him. After all, the big green guy is Frankenstein’s Monster (or, the Creature), not Frankenstein as he is often, wrongly, called. That would be the doctor that created him.

And so, for the past year, the Doozer has been obsessed with Frankenstein’s Monster. And when we saw a pint-sized costume of the Creature on sale, we knew we had to get it.

(Parenting tip of the day: We’ve had great luck finding costumes at both Old Navy and The Children’s Place. They’re reasonable and well-made and the kids seem to dig them.)

And of course, he’s loved stomping around like a recently re-animated, stitched-together monster, developing an amusing growl to go along with his lumbering gait. His commitment to honoring the full name of this character has also been impressive.

“Can I call you Frankie?” his mother asked during the annual Zoo Boo at the Detroit Zoo.

“Usually,” he responded, very seriously. “This is called the Frankenstein’s Monster costume.”

“Yes, but can I just call you Frankie? For short?”


This year, also marked his first Halloween school party. And what happened? Another boy showed up wearing the exact same costume! We hadn’t anticipated this, but the Doozer seemed unfazed about sharing the duties of being the monster. The other boy even had a green-painted face to complete the outfit. The Doozer refused this addition, opting for the more abstract approach. (He even refused his mother’s entreaties to draw additional stitches on his face. No dice.)

His specificity over calling the character Frankenstein’s Monster has been the source of endless amusement to other people. When kids say adult-sounding things, it’s hilarious. Besides, we would not raise a kid to offer unspecific or sloppy literary references. Please.

One of the most interesting things this Halloween has been watching him begin to recognize the line between reality and make-believe at the center of the holiday. When asked about his visit to the Haunted Reptile House at the zoo and the scary creatures hanging from the ceiling, he practically shrugged when he said, “They’re just decorations.”

Or when he modeled his Frankenstein’s Monster costume for his uncle who feigned only the slightest bit of fright upon seeing it, resulting in the Doozer quickly telling him, “I’m not the real Frankenstein’s Monster. It’s just a costume.” Oh. Right. Thank you for clearing that up.

We even managed to find a YouTube video of the old song “Monster Mash” featuring the characters from the early 70s cartoon series, Groovie Goolies. And sure enough, the first person to sing the song in the video is Frankenstein’s Monster (Frankie, on the show. Take that, son.). Needless to say, this became a big hit in our house, an instant classic, which has been on a constant rotation in the days leading up to the big night.

When asked to recount (for grandparents, etc.) the song, the Doozer has emphatically replied, “It’s a graveyard smash.” I’ve noticed lately there is this bizarre level of certainty in almost everything he says. I’m sure this happens with most kids. Even things that they have just learned, they manage to regurgitate in a way that makes it sound as if they have actually known this forever. And they can’t believe you’re asking them about it. Like he’s some kind of Rhodes scholar. Like we should all bow down before the greatness of toddler wisdom.

Such a weirdo. Even without the costume.

Happy Halloween . . .

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