07 November 2013

Family Cosplay

Ever since we’ve had two kids, the wife and I have wanted to do a group Halloween costume. My vote has always been for the Beatles, skinny ties and mop-top wigs. (Little Brother would obviously be Ringo.) But she was never keen on the idea.

And the last two years, we went to an event at the Detroit Zoo, the annual Zoo Boo, with my wife’s cousin. She and her husband and their two little girls have always dressed in matching costumes. We hadn’t heard rumors to the contrary this year and so we decided we had to step it up. To be better parents, we had to do a foursome of costumes.

But what would it be? The Avengers? Seeing Little Brother in a long blonde wig was tempting. The Incredibles? We’re lacking a Violet. And it would be weird to go as Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Dash, and Little Jack-Jack. He doesn’t even do anything until the last two minutes of the movie.

For a minute, the Doozer wanted to be Boba Fett. So we thought about other characters we could realistically be. But Yoda, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and Boba Fett just seemed like too random of an assortment. At one point, I suggested that we could all paint our faces yellow and be Lego minifigures. I still stand by this is a brilliant idea, even if he didn’t go for it.

Then we hit upon the idea: We had a dragon costume from when the Doozer was 2. He and Little Brother love playing with a castle set. What if the Doozer was a knight, Little Brother was the dragon, and we went as a king and a queen? Great. Perfect. Set. Only the Doozer had a slightly different idea.

In his version of “playing” with his castle, a toy parrot guards the fortress. He wanted to be a parrot guard, which somehow involved dressing as a parrot that is dressed as a knight. Maybe.

This was not going to happen. Not that we want to quash his imaginative spirit, not at all. It’s just, one costume is expensive enough, let alone two. Then the physics of trying to mash them together into one costume? And seriously, who has the time to sew? I feel like our generation got a lot of handmade, homemade costumes. But seriously, when did they have the time?

Finally, he was convinced to be a knight. And loved his knight costume. And forgot all about that parrot business. Although I do think he occasionally squawked while sporting that fake chain mail get-up. But I can’t be certain.

In the end, though, it didn’t matter. Because we showed up at the zoo and found that our compatriots were not donning a four-person costume this year. It was just us. Yeah, we were sold out by fellow parents. Come on, man, we’re supposed to be on the same team. 

And so now we’re walking around the zoo looking like idiots. (Even if our own kid still enjoyed this whole coordinating costumes enterprise.) My “crown” looked more like that funny hat the pope wears, but the cape and scepter seemed somewhat royal. I suppose. (Okay, I’ll admit it, carrying a scepter is pretty good.) One of the zoo employees told me I looked like a character from an old TV commercial about butter or margarine. I vaguely remembered it from my childhood.

Thanks, old-timer.

Of course, there was still actual Halloween. Which is weird. I didn’t get multiple Halloweens as a kid. What spoiled brats. That night, it rained. So not only did we have goofy costumes on, but we got drenched. Now we have soggy, goofy costumes. And cherished memories. I guess.

Although, I have one piece of advice for parents thinking of taking a 1-year-old out trick-or-treating:


(Of course, your experience could be better than ours. I suppose anything is possible.)

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