Friday, October 31, 2008

Hail to the Chief on Halloween

Here's our Chief. Jonas the Firefighter.

This is a story about a real wake-up moment that I had today while celebrating Jonas' first Halloween. Is it a scary story? Well, not scary as in ghosts and goblins, scary how clueless Jonas' parents are about a few things.

For the most part, I like to think that Joe and I are relatively 'in the know' about children's issues. I do a lot of reading and talk to a lot of other moms. The events of this afternoon taught me that we are still very wet behind the ears as parents and still have a lot to learn about the children's party world.

Truth be told, I wasn't even going to dress up Jonas for his first Halloween. After all, he's only 8 months old. It's not like we're going to go trick or treating when he's still eating pureed peas and peaches. So what's the point?

What changed my mind was receiving a colorful flyer from daycare saying that there would be a Halloween celebration on Friday. Thinking about seeing all the children who greet us every morning when we arrive--Baby Jonas! Baby Jonas!--all of a sudden I got really excited about taking Jonas to the party. I wasn't sure about a costume. If anything, maybe I'd throw together a little something. Nothing spectacular.

The party began at 3:00. As much as I tried to get there on time, we didn't turn down the street of the daycare until 3:30. Ah, no worries, I tried to console myself. It's a Halloween party at daycare, Liz, not a gala. Just the kids. Maybe a few parents who come early to pick up the kids.

"Huhhh," I mumbled to Jonas, as I pulled up to the driveway, puzzled as to why there were a dozen cars in front of the daycare. "What the heck is going on here, " I wondered. I wasn't concerned until I walked into the room where all the kids were gathered, dressed, or rather 'costumed', to the nines. Wow. I definitely wasn't expecting that. Shit. It gets worse.

Practically every family was there in attendance. I showed up late, a half hour late. By myself. No Joe--he was at his friend's house gluing tires to his bike wheels. And, in my grubby clothes. The one and only saving grace is that Jonas was wearing a pretty cool costume, courtesy of our friends Jill and Matt, who had received a boy and girl costume when they were expecting their daughter Sophia. Thanks Jill and Matt!

Sophia and Jonas

Then I realized that I was really clueless about this entire deal! First of all, how was I supposed to know that Halloween is a command performance for parents?! It would appear that parents just take part of the day off from work to go to their kids' parties. Huh. Didn't see that one coming. Second, when I was a kid in the 80's, we didn't have all kinds of glamorous costumes, at least my friends and I didn't. I am sure that I was a scarecrow, a witch, and a bum because we had props around our house that could be thrown together 10 minutes before it was time to go trick or treating. The kids were wearing amazing costumes made out of velvet and tulle and soft furry fabrics. Looked they were straight from FAO Schwarz. And to think, as a joke, I was going to cut a neck hole and two arm holes out of a Target bag, dress Jonas in it and say that he's a bull's-eye! Can you imagine?! I would have felt like the b-i-g-g-e-s-t idiot! And even though Jonas is too young to ever remember this, surely, the photos would have forever haunted him. Again, thanks to Jill and Matt, Jonas and his parents were spared immeasurable embarassment.

As for the next party, perhaps I'll ask around a bit in advance about what to expect. I'll let some other neophyte parent make a fool of herself. Meanwhile I'll sit back and quietly chuckle to myself, "could have been you, Liz."


andrew mathay. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
andrew mathay. said...

liz, you would have certainly won "most original" costume if you went through with the "target bag" approach. not that it would have been the most flattering costume.

the best kid, ever. :)

andrew mathay. said...

and the post that i deleted was grammatically atrocious. excuse the "comment deleted."