Costume shopping and pet store browsing

We hit the Halloween costume shop last Wednesday night but only after stepping into Petland to greet the hamsters and puppies and kitties.  The kids have been begging to go to Petland for a month.  It is like a petting zoo because the animals are kept in cages that are easily accessible to children.  Maria can open the kitten cage and hold any kitten she desires and Mario can stand on a step-ladder and “play” with the hamsters (poor hamsters may not consider it “play!”).  

Maria steered right for the kittens as she always does.  There were not many in the cage and the one she picked up was not enjoying being held.  So, she headed to the puppies.  She immediately noticed a white Eskimo puppy and asked to hold him.  The puppy snuggled up against Maria’s mid-section like Maria was his mama, and only lifted his head when someone spoke to Maria as if to tell the person to bug off.  I am a sucker for kids with baby animals and I wanted to purchase the darling pup at that moment.  If raising a puppy was as easy as feeding him and snuggling with him, he’d be with us now.  But I remember those nights of getting up at 2 am, 4 am, 6 am to let the pup out.  Hearing the pup cry at night.  Picking up the “accidents” on the floor.  I think I’d be asking for a nervous breakdown if I took that challenge on at this point.  Of course, the only thing in Maria’s mind is holding and playing with the sweet little pup.  She wanted him so badly and was promising to do every chore possible to have him.  She cried big heavy tears when I told her that we could not buy him (he was also $1590 – holy smokes!).  She eventually released the puppy after giving him a big kiss and was completely heartbroken.  Mario discoed on the sidewalk and made funny faces to try to cheer her up.  Nothing worked, that is, until we got into the Halloween store and she began to look at all of the costumes.  Then the Eskimo pup fell to the wayside. 

As Mario and I reviewed all of the boy costumes, Maria went to the end of the wall where the women costumes were posted.  She yelled “Mom, what about this one?”  I walked over and she pointed out a “candy striper (stripper)” outfit that might as well had been a non-existent costume – how two tiny pieces of material could be $29.99 is beyond me.  The next one she wanted was a “hot goth” outfit that had spiked black heels and a sparkling black bikini top.  I had to move her over to the girls’ costumes and with one look at them she sighed “these are the only ones?”   After much review, she chose a Spanish princess outfit (that was pretty racy for a 6-year-old with an off-the-shoulder design) and a spider princess dress that I knew would be too long for her.  The Spanish dress was adorable but way too sexy for a six-year old girl.  I took her back to the drawing board and found a 70’s groovy girl outfit with the peace sign and a head sash.  Surprisingly, she loved it (the girl loves the peace sign and even tattooed it on her neck a month ago).  She looked adorable in it and decided that was the outfit for her (especially when I told her that her aunts and grandmas would think it was so groovy!). 

Mario chose a Wolverine outfit.  I asked if he wanted to try a ninja or a power ranger outfit but he was set on the Wolverine.  It took him 15 minutes to get the legs situated on the costume – he rolled them up ten times).  He had to get his mask absolutely perfect before he moved down the aisle to the checkout line.  When he had finally situated the outfit perfectly, he asked for the claws.  He carefully put them on and looked up at me with a disappointed look.  “Mom, they are not even real. I want real claws.”   Maria jumped in and counseled him about what a costume was and the fact tha Wolverine’s claws were going to be fake because you could not wear real claws of a Wolverine.  Then she looked at me and whispered “Should I tell Mario that the Wolverine is just a character and not a real thing?”  I think the days of Santa and the Easter Bunny are over at age 6. Ugh. 

Mario sans the eye patch

We headed home with our costumes and a piece of candy for each of us (Mario and I with snickers and Maria with a piece of gum.  Within an hour of getting home, Mario wanted to a different costume.  I explained to him that he chose the Wolverine and we could not return it for a new one.  He did his latest trick which is covering his ears and chanting “I’m not listening.”  Maria again chimed in with an astute observation “Mario, you only want, want, want” (may be the pot calling the kettle black, a bit).   

When we woke in the morning the first thing out of Mario’s mouth was “Mom, can I please be a ninja for Halloween.” I told him I would think about it and he gave me a huge squeeze with an “I love you so much, Mom!”  So then the question became should I make him live with the Wolverine costume since I told him that he had one to choose from at the Halloween store and he chose it or should I allow him to pick another and return his Wolverine one?  I have got one group of friends that would definitely tell him “no” and make him live with his purchase.  Their reasoning is that you told him what the consequences would be at the store (“choose a costume and that is what you are wearing”) so you should stick with it.  My other group of friends would return the Wolverine and get him the ninja.  Their reasoning would be that he is 4 years old, he is bound to change his mind and what is the harm with making another trip?  I tend to default to that group’s thinking and found myself at Target the next day getting him a ninja costume.  We still have the Wolverine at home, too, since the Halloween store is farther away.  Of course, when we put on the ninja costume it looked ridiculous because it was a size 4T and Mario is barely in a 3T.  It drooped everywhere on him and he was pissed off!  He tugged and grabbed and pulled on the costume but nothing worked.  He fell to the floor in sheer disgust and cried and cried.  “It doesn’t fit me, Mom.  I look dumb!”  As a woman who has stood in a dressing room and had the same meltdown, I felt for him.  “Can I get a pirate costume?” he plead from the floor.  “Of course” I immediately replied.  I had wanted him to be a pirate all along because of the eye patch and the sash.  I did return the ninja costume before I got the pirate one, and  

All fit perfectly.

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