Season affords kids the chance to get into character

Published 7:40 pm Thursday, October 27, 2016

Season affords kids the chance to get into character

By Peggy Walker, R.D.

Can it be Halloween already?  Must be a trick of some sort. Seems we just did this.  But, my pumpkins are in place and I’ve found my old Halloween scarf, so I’m ready.   But the real treat is the grandchildren in their costumes.
My boys weren’t ever very interested in costumes.  While they were little I dressed them up as firemen, cowboys, or ghosts.   Soon though they wanted store-bought costumes and I relented, not as cute as homemade I thought, but okay, so we bought costumes.  Ninja turtles and He-man I believe.
The only costume I remember ever wearing was Rin-tin-tin.  For you young readers, Rin-tin-tin was a very smart German Shepherd who served in the United States Calvary and had his own television show.  He always saved the day.  Once I had the dog-face mask on and jumped up and scared our cat.  My mother said that was the one and only time Puddy Cat ever scratched me.
Maybe that’s why I didn’t care much for costumes either.  I always preferred handing out candy at the front door and looking at the other children in their costumes.
Mack, though, loves a good costume.  Last year when he was 2, he was a furry Dalmatian. Cute as a speckled pup, you’d say!  This year Mack’s a big and plump dinosaur.  He’s already had lots of practice.  The green costume has a head and tail but no feet and was a hand-me-down from a friend.  Earlier this fall, the week that “D” was for “dinosaur” at his school, Mack dressed the part and got to visit the older, younger and nursery classes. He was a rock star!  And, he wears his costume anytime his mother allows him to.  But it still had no feet.  And dinosaurs don’t wear Keds.
So, when we went to the beach for fall break, we headed to the Croc’s Shoe store hoping to find a green pair, which we thought would be totally perfect as dinosaur feet.   But first we stopped in a children’s store guilty of flaunting all their cute Halloween shirts right at the door to draw grandmothers in.  It worked.  So, while I was busy picking out orange jack-o-lantern shirts for everyone, Mack and Laura headed to the far back corner.
In a matter of minutes, Mack came out running, rather shuffling, around the perimeter of the store exclaiming “monster feet, monster feet!”  And sure enough he was wearing green monster feet house shoes, still connected with the plastic string.  He was in high gear and had the clerks rolling with laughter.  We never made it to the Croc’s store, but we came back with dinosaur feet, toenails and all!
Sweet little Emree is going to be a flamingo for her first Halloween.  I don’t know what it is, but she and I have this thing for these lovely, pink long-legged birds.   Her other grandmother found an almost life sized plush flamingo that 10-month-old Emree dearly loves to roll around with on the floor.
Last year I couldn’t resist a beautiful wordless book, a Caldecott winner, entitled Flora and the Flamingo.  The pictures are so pretty and even suitable for framing!  We love to “read” it.  Flora wants to dance like the flamingo and she studies its movements and tries her best to imitate it.  No candy for Emree this year, but she’ll be generous with her enchanting smiles and waves while all in pink.
James and Kathleen are so good at costumes.  Kathleen painted a black shirt as a skeleton with a baby skeleton in the tummy to announce her first pregnancy to friends at Halloween 2 years ago.  This year for Trick or Trunk they are going as Charlie Brown characters.  James is to be Lynus, with his blanket, 2-year-old Emma Kate is Sally, Charlie Brown’s sister.  And are you ready for this…Kathleen who is expecting their second baby girl in December is going as the Great Pumpkin!   Oh, I love a good sense of humor!   The car backdrop will be painted with scenes of Charlie Brown wearing his hole-y ghost costume, Snoopy and his dog house and the pumpkin patch.  I knew the great pumpkin would show up!
Me?  I’ll be wearing my old Halloween scarf and wishing I could be in three places at once.  But with a little hocus pocus I can!  FaceTime!

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The Very best Trick or Treaters
Please keep your children safe and have a fun time!

•    Carry flashlights and use reflective tape on clothing and bags.
•    Walk, don’t run, on sidewalks when possible or on left side of streets without sidewalks.
•    Go only into familiar neighborhoods and stop only at houses that are well lit.
•    Adults should accompany children.
•    Don’t let children run between cars.
•    Keep candles away from costumes.
•    Drive slowly and carefully.
•    Examine candy and treats when home and discard any that are opened or damaged.
•    Be nice and courteous.
•    Say thank you!
•    Make sure children brush their teeth before going to bed!