Archive for November, 2009

the cat’s meow

The month of October is marked with two emotions: fear of all the spooky displays in every shopping center and excitement about an evening of costumes and candy.

This year Ava started planning her Halloween costume as soon as the streamers from her birthday party came down. To say that she loves to play dress-up would be like saying that a bird loves to build a nest. It’s her nature. It’s her calling. And it’s in her genes.

Her mother had a suitcase of dress-up clothes in her closet until she graduated from high school. And spent more than a few evenings creating characters in front of the mirror instead of applying Pythagoras’ theorem to flight patterns of migrating hummingbirds.

So an evening dedicated to parading through the neighborhood in the costume of her choice with everyone under four feet participating is an event worthy of great anticipation and planning.

This year she shifted through all the possible varieties of fairies, butterflies, and princesses with such speed and furry that it became a revolving kaleidoscope of tulle and glitter. And if the girly-ness index was not already topping out, one night she suggested she could be a giant red heart with a rainbow headband.

Sometime in September, she landed on the idea of being a peacock, a bright purple and teal bird with tulle, wings, and flamboyant feathers.  I fully endorsed this idea until I realized it came with a $69 price tag from Pottery Barn Kids or required that I restore my relationship with my sewing machine. So I put all my powers of procrastination towards the peacock and her purple feathers.

Thankfully the week of Halloween she abandoned the extravagant pheasant and was sure that she wanted to be the Princess in the Pea.  I was thrilled, as I was sure that we could pull this together from out of her overflowing dress-up box. Plus it fit with her history of storybook characters, Madeline and Little Bo Peep.

On Friday morning I joined the throng of over eager Kindergarten parents volunteering for the fall festival party. Ava was first in line for the face painting booth and was delighted by the butterfly affixed to her right cheek. That was until she saw the kitty nose and whiskers painted across the sweet faces of several of her friends. She was fixated. She was sold. She was going to be a kitty on Halloween.

“And then Mama, when I ring the doorbell I can go like this,” she said as she put her two little hands under her chin, “and say ‘meow, meow.'”

As we ate dinner that night, Ava and I starting dreaming up her costume with alarming consistency. I remembered that she had a black velvet dress at same moment she announced it. “And you/I have that black sweater with a white fur,” we said in unison. Before we started in on dessert, we had come up with everything but the ears and tail.

The next morning she came running into my room. “Mama, remember we have those furry earmuffs? We could use those for the ears,” she said at the same moment that I was looking for them. It’s frightening really. It’s like talking to the five-year-old version of myself.

Thanks to a bit of hot glue, a needle and thread, and a quick trip to Joanne’s for two furry boas and some black felt, we had a kitty on our hands.


A kitty with a craving for candy.


“Meow, Meow.”

Thankfully she found two pint-sized queens with similar sweet tooth’s ready to round the kingdom in search of sugar-coated alms.


Collecting hand-outs wears a girl out, as does the inevitable sugar crash.


Look at those three sleeping so soundly, blissfully unaware that their parents are upstairs stealing sweets from their stash.

Shh, I’ll never tell. Will you?

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