Sunday, September 27, 2009

Here Come The Slutty Tween Halloween Costumes

The "Red Hot Mama" Pimp costume: Comes in matching teen sizes for those moms who like to dress up with their daughters.

Back to school time is slightly funereal around here. No one wants to give up the ghost of carefree summer days. The one thing that makes life still worth living in light of long school days and strictly enforced bedtimes?

Halloween Costume Catalogs.

God bless the marketing geniuses that time the arrival of these things with the certain realization that your fabulous new "cool" teacher is actually going to make you bust a hump and do some homework.

My kids love to spend hours pouring over the catalogs, discussing what they'll be this year. It's a critical decision. You only get so many costume choice years of childhood in between the the time when your mom still makes you dress up like a farm animal and you're far too old to be trick or treating any more.

We have a few rules in our household. I'm not a fan of branded character costumes. But I'm not inflexible. I've been known to waive my high ideals for a really cute Wall E or Princess Aurora costume. With the big girls I'm a little harsher. No matter how much they beg? No fetishwear.

I know, cruel. What kind of mother am I anyway?!

Banning the fetish wear does not prevent me from making fun of it though. Each year I am more and more amused (amused because horrified gets old, and laughter is the best medicine, right?) by the halloween costume fails perpetrated on girls my daughter's age. So without further ado, here are some of the costumes that will not be making the cut in our house this year.
Tween Little Bo Peep (in fishnets) costume: I sure hope that losing her sheep is not a metaphor for something else. Little Bo needs a bathrobe!

Teen Strawberry Shortcake Costume: See mommy, I'm still your little girl. I'm dressed up like a children's character. I'm not on ecstasy! I just love you sooooo much. Can we hug? Fake ID what?Teen Rootin Tootin Cowgirl Costume. Comes with teen pregnancy test and cancelled Disney sitcom contract. The Teen Oktoberfest Bar wench. Das es Nicht Gut. Or something like that. Keep your lederhosen on little lady!

The Tween "French Maid" Uniform. I'd only relent if the costume caused my kids to clean their rooms. But they would never ever be allowed to leave those rooms once they were clean.

Note: all of the above are REAL costumes sold on many sites this season. The same sites sell a lot of adorable costumes that are appropriate for teens and tweens, and not just call girls and bored housewives. Maybe if you buy some of the costumes that are cute, there will be less of this mess next year. Then again, I'd have nothing to make fun of. And that would be a shame.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Break a Leg

By some miracle I got all the kids to school on time today. No-one was missing a lunch, the camera was charged and I even remembered the media card. The baby bag had wipes, diapers and an emergency change of clothes. Nobody wept. It was perfect. A little too perfect if you ask me.

"Break a Leg" I told my son. And I encouraged him to play with Sam, who is far more adventurous than my boy, but we could all use a little shove down the big slide of life every now and again by a fun loving friend, can't we?

The kindergarten program that my son is in really prides itself in their ability to immerse the kids in the "magical world of imagination". Just about everything is magical in this classroom from the whimsical and uncommon names of common foodstuffs, to the notion of putting your "outdoor voice" in a basket for safekeeping when you come in from outdoors. Here at home we call that "piping down". For safekeeping we have "or else!"

My son really took to the world of imagination swimmingly. Or I should say flyingly. By the end of three hours of this, in fact, he was so convinced of his magical abilities that he was sure he could fly. Sam told him he could. His new girlfriend (let's just call her Wendy) told him he could.

And so Peter Pan leapt off the stairs of the play structure, into the air like a giant bird, and... WHAM.

Turns out he's not as magical as he thought. First day of Kindy was all about magic. Second day is going to be all about science, as it looks like my little lost boy is going to need xrays.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Back to Fool Shopping

I'm onto them. 8 years and three kids into the public school "back to school" shopping ritual and I've figured it out. They don't actually want us to buy anything on the damn list. They just want us to go stark raving mad trying. It's like a fraternity hazing. A process.

I sauntered into the third Target store today and was barraged by the massive school shopping frenzy. Moms pushed carts aggressively, rude teens shoved each other to grab at notebooks and calculators and whipped looking employees skulked around with electronic tagging guns, apologies at the ready."Sorry Ma'am, were clean out of gluesticks here too."

Up until that very moment I'd been sorry summer was over. Wishing for a few more pool and beach days. Not with those kids around! My 9 year old quickly located the "fine point" sharpies in the office supplies aisle. Almost at the same time my 12 year old found sharpies in the back to school aisle. I picked up a third package of "fine point" sharpies on an end cap. And guess what? They all had radically different sized points. Of course all three were labelled fine point, though. Arguments ensued. I added duct tape and Margarita fixings to the back to school list.

If you think locating the last of the tinted gluesticks and the right sharpies, a mere 24hrs before school's in session is tough, you should get a load of the rest of my list. This year the teachers at my kids Waldorf style school have served up an especially fun last minute scavenger hunt for us parents. Items include:

1. Logo/Media Free Hat. Skip Target for this as well. Not. A. Single. One. Unless you can make an argument that Spiderman is neither logo nor media. I'm considering hand sewing a wad of hand felted wool over Spidey and calling it a "Die Spinne" hat. Five bucks to the first teacher that susses out this is German for Spider Man comic books.

2. Indoor Shoes. Think you know what this means? Then please, by all means enlighten me. I can tell you what it does not mean. It doesn't mean light soled shoes that won't mar the gymnasium floor. We don't have a gym. It doesn't mean slippers or crocs, according to the teacher. It doesn't mean shoes that you change into on a snow day when you leave your boots dripping in the hallway. We have portables. No hallways. Also no snow. This is So Cal. I did the only sensible thing. I bought Uggs. I will have to slap a wad of hand felted wool over the logo now and call them "Die Uggs".

3. Two Large Metal Washbasins. Technically this was not on the regular list but on the "wish list". My husband signed up for this one about five minutes before he realized he had no effing clue what a washbasin actually was. Arguments also ensued about this as we scoured Ikea top to bottom for anything metal, basin like and washworthy. We each fought valiently for our planter and mixing bowl to achieve washbasin status but ultimately left empty handed.

4. A Metal, Logo/Media Free Mug. This item took the cake this year as most annoying and difficult to find. Last year it was a very specific white natural rubber german eraser that could only be found at one obscure art store in the OC. But the metal mug is this year's winner. First let me explain why the metal mug. Because plastic is POISON. This was what the teacher told us at the meeting. No plastic anything in the classroom. We had to go forth and find a lightweight unbreakable metal mug. She held up a rustic but festive enamelware example of wholesome drinking vessel goodness for us to observe and invoked Ikea as a wholesome euro-friendly location to find such a treasure. Note: I'm sure they had these mugs at Ikea right next to the washbasins. Five year agos. After exhausting Ikea, two camping goods stores, Home Goods, Target (again, no glue stick and no metal mugs) we finally happened upon a metal mug at our local Dick's Sporting Goods store. It was expensive but there comes a time when you are willing to pay ten bucks for a wholesome cup just so you can hit the drive through before putting your kids to bed an hr past their bedtime on the first night of back to school.

I turned the beautiful, healthy, non-poisonous, made in china, metal mug over and read "Caution, This Mug Contains Chemicals know to cause cancer, including LEAD"

On second thought, I'm going with the BPA free plastic. Slap some felted wool on that. Call it "Diecommonsensse"