I am not very artistic. I have a long standing script with my mother that seems to keep repeating itself to no end:
“Mom, I did X.”
“Really? Don’t tell me you aren’t creative!”
“I never said I’m not creative, Mom, I am just not artistic.”
“Well, I think you are very creative.”
“Okay, Mom. Thanks, Mom.”
… Homemade purim costumes need both I think. I do okay with the creativity, and I can help my kids figure out how to use what we have around to become what they would like.
But I can’t design anything, sew anything, draw anything or make anything….
… and I see this year that as we have gotten closer to Purim they have changed their desires to meet with more realistic expectations from Ima.
15 yo – too cool for costumes, of course. I think he might come to Purim as a person with a text message addiction. : )
10 yo – VERY artistic, and decided she could cover that area better than me a long time ago. She has decided that it would be very humorous and in the spirit of “naafochu” (turnabout, or doing things “opposite”) to dress up as a candy shop. We have a no candy ever policy for our kids. (Cookies and cake are allowed on special occasions, but no candy. That’s a story for a different blog post.)
8 yo #1 wanted to make a very elaborate costume to be a “joke box” that involved writing down a lot of jokes and being able to emit them at will… he has since changed his mind and in lieu of complicated has chosen evil; he is going as Haman.
8 yo #2 wanted to make a “Star Wars Clone” costume from scratch.
He suggested that I could make him the mask myself, or of course buy him one with my limitless funds at a store…. he has switched to going as a doctor.
The 6 yo. stuck to elaborate and complicated. He has to paint it himself. He is going as a confetti box. His idea. He says people won’t get it and will ask him what he is, at which point he can throw confetti at them as he explains. Pretty clever 6 yo right? Those are the ones they say to watch out for. By the way, don’t tell anyone who lives near me the secret or you will spoil all of his fun.
My 4 yo, who is a cross between Junie B. Jones and Olivia, said she wanted to be “a pit”. No, I don’t know what that means. She had to come up with a queen costume for a pre-purim activity at school, and I convinced her to just stick with that for Purim, too. It only worked because I promised to let her wear lots of Ima’s makeup.
The 1 yo will be a lion. All of the rest, except for dss (dear stepson) wore it. It is frayed and the zipper is completely broken. I am quite certain that I would have been horrified at the thought of my first little one doing such a thing. Now I am thrilled when he gets raspberry hamentashen filling all over his front I won’t have to worry so much. After he completes this rite of passage I think we finally get to throw the darn thing out.
I have a huge chest FULL of premade, prefab, store bought costumes. A LOT. I mean it. Wolverine, Superman, Spiderman, Spongebob, Snow White, Pirate, Soldier (x2), ballerina, Harry Potter robes, wands AND broomsticks (3 each!), The Incredible Hulk, Power Ranger, Batman, Clown wig, kimono, ninja, and those are the ones I can name off the top of my head.
Of course none of those will do for anyone.
It isn’t about authenticity; it is about two things, I think: 1. The never-ending contest for Ima’s time and attention. The more elaborate the costume, the more time I have to stop everything else and devote to it, right? 2. As the clever 6 yo recently said about his Pinewood Derby car (it’s a boy scout thing; also for another post.) “The fun is in the making it.”
And knowing that is why I bother trying to make a confetti box, or putting my makeup on a 4 yo, or helping a 10 yo go to the store just to buy fabric to make a candy shop, running around town begging for used medical supplies for my dr., and revamping a gold satin robe for Haman. As for my little lion, he will jump into the competition soon enough, and broken zipper and all, I am happy for him to wait!
P.S. – Yes, you are all welcome to come to NJ and shop for Purim costumes in my playroom.