Wednesday, October 31, 2007

On the Way to Trick-or-Treating

Last October, I received the most splendiferous email from Linda Sharp, editor, webmaster, author, and all-around Big Kahuna. To wit:

Dear Cathy C. Hall,
Aren't you just the greatest thing since sliced bread?! You absolutely must agree to write for my website,, an online smorgasbord of hilarious columns about parenting and such. Say yes and you will be well on your way to Fame and Fortune!

Anyway, that's how I remember the email. Linda may beg to differ.

But I do, in fact, have a column called STIRRED CRAZY (more apropos than you can possibly imagine) and Sanity Central really is a wonderful website filled with column after column from talented writers who are sure to make you laugh out loud.

You can read my latest comic ramblings by clicking on the STIRRED CRAZY link. Or treat yourself to my very first SC column, which just happened to be about Halloween. (Like you didn't see that one coming). Oh, and as we say in the South, "Boo, y'all!"

On the Way to Trick-or-Treating

Halloween was right around the corner and I was beside myself. I could not wait to dress Joey, my first-born son, in some fantastic costume and hit the streets for candy. Which for Joey was actually Cheerios, but that’s not the point. The point was the costume. Hooray!

My own lackluster Halloweens dated back to the sixties, when Red Skelton’s Freddy the Freeloader was in vogue. At least, that’s what my mom said when she dressed her four children every year as tramps. For my brothers, it was no big deal. They were in it for the candy. For a little girl with dreams of Cinderella and Tinkerbelle, a smudged face and men’s clothing was downright embarrassing. But my mom wasn’t exactly creative in the costuming department, so it was the ideal solution.

I, on the other hand, consider myself a talented and imaginative mom, even if I am a bit deficient in sewing skills. That’s what glue guns are for, I figured. So for Joey’s Halloween, I had BIG plans. No store bought costume for this little toddler. I would think up something boo-rific and sit back for the oohs and ahhs sure to follow. Unfortunately, I had to do my thinking-outside-the-box within a pretty tight budget. Still not a problem for an inventive type like me.

First, I scrounged around in my T-shirt drawer where I found a bright green one that would hang all the way down to Joey’s cute little tippy-toes. Perfect! Then, with my curious tow-headed darling beside me I snipped a little of this sparkly scrap and a little of that glittery patch and glued it all securely on the shirt. We stepped back to admire my handiwork. Joey would go as a Christmas tree for Halloween! Now isn’t that just about the cleverest thing ever?

Just a quick try-on for adjustments and a-haunting we could go. Over his head slipped the masterpiece. Through the sleeves slid his chubby little fists. Right past the diaper, and oops! Houston, we have a problem. Joey started to cry. Not that tired whimpering kind of cry, either. This was full throttle, in your face, gasping-for-air crying. What in the world?

I checked for pins. Nope. I turned my festive T-shirt inside out looking for anything that might be uncomfortable. Nothing. Joey hiccupped. We’d try again. Whoa! Joey split the air with his screams before the shirt even touched his precious face.

I pulled a pair of blue pants up and a blue toddler-sized T-shirt down over my unappreciative tyke. I dabbed a circle of blue paint on both cheeks and called him “Little Boy Blue." Boring, I know, but Joey was smiling.

There’s always next Halloween, I mused, munching Cheerios. Be afraid, Joey, be very afraid.