The Duck Is On Fiya!

Because even the toddler looked outraged at the idea of a tampon costume, we are in the back corner of a dingy Party City. I am red in the neck and about to drag my son to the front, tell the teenage cashier that I found this screaming toddler in the back and I think his parents have abandoned him somewhere between the  fake blood and slutty cat/nun/Crayon Women’s Costume aisle. No, I didn’t see who left him, I would explain. I also bet his mother is really a great person, just couldn’t stand the Yeti hollering and scornful thrashing of small arms and legs. You know, but I’m just guessing.

My reign of humiliating Halloween terror has come to a close. The young man learned to speak and think all in the course of a year. Experts insist this is positive childhood development. To me it’s mostly inconvenient. We journeyed to this generic land of plastic costumes in plastic bags because the boy, quite simply just grasped the English language enough to coherently yell out “No. Moms. Stops it! No wearin’ dat [tampon/ Little Jesus/ Obama/ Annoying Orange] coss-zooms on meeee!”.  So here we are, asking a young, nose-pierced man to grab us a Spiderman uni-tard complete with mask. I can’t tell if he hates this request or hates having to work, but he tosses the bag to me and looks relieved to be done helping people. “Okay, bud. Here you go. Spiderman. Spiderman is like the Ashley of all Halloween costumes, but whatever. I’m sure you’ll look super cool… just like the other 32 neighborhood kids wearing the same thing, but, you know, it’s cool. I’m sure you’ll look be the coolest Ashley,” I am maybe a small bit resentful that my out-of-the-box ideas for an original costume were squashed by the spandex onesie in a bag. The boy, who’s never watched or seen or shown any interest in the comic book character is rather quick to choose him.

And then the firestorm. I look down to see my son weeping, shoulder-shaking weeping and tossing his head in a slow, mournful no. “Ah. Ah. Oh God. I was kidding. Spiderman is awesome. I wish I thought of Spiderman. I am all about the Spiders and the mans! Ah,” I am an asshole. The boy throws the bag at the wall. He yells that this is no Spiderman. He points to the Spiderman outfit packaged in a Spiderman bag labeled with a price tag, a bar code that reads SPIDERMAN and calls it a liar. He is inconsolable now, sadness blistering into hot rage. He punches a costume and it falls from the shelf. I am about to get embarrassed, or pissed, or ask the teenage employees lurking around if they have any parenting wisdom they might like to share, when all turns calm.

He goes all smile, limp noodle, and begins giggling. I stare at his puffy, tear-slicked face in disbelief. You. You were just. You were just cry- Why are you happy now? But the real mystery was this: why was he crying before, suddenly and inexplicably? “Spiderman!,” he exclaims,”I’s Spiderman, Moms! I’s Spiderman, Hi-ya!”.

And this is the part where I remember he is three. He pushes a dinky fireman’s helmet on his head, beaming like he didn’t just threaten to burn this place down with hellfire shot from his angry eye. And this is when I remember that words are tricky when you’re new. So Spiderman The Fireman head home. He is content, and I am confused. And this is the part where I remember that it always works out that way.

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We head to the park later, and Spiderman The Fireman insists on bringing his beloved helmet. He dresses up and hops out. I watch him storm to the edge of a pond, stare down the hungry ducks with much hostility. I am lost for a minute in sadness. Every day he is a little less willing to be dressed up with my ideas. Every day he has more ideas of his own. He’s becoming less of me. And then I laugh because I would turn the idea of a  toddler dressed up like a tampon, yes, I would take that and make it a cheesy metaphor for motherhood. He is chopping karate arms at an innocent goose when I join him. “I’s Spiderman, Moms. I’s got dis hat on me ‘n I says ‘NO DUCKS’ juss like dat. I says ‘NO! HI-YA, DUCK.’ Ha!,” he is thrilled when the villain bird hisses and waddles away.

Tonight he’ll go trick-or-treating. To the world he’ll have a Katie of a costume, a kid dressed in adult occupational wear. The world will think that’s boring. Maybe they won’t understand how close he came to rocking an awesome Kotex with biodegradable applicator look. Maybe they know me and will understand just how close he came to dressing as a tampon shell. But I will shoot him a wink. He will slip me a subtle karate kick, a small quack, and I’ll feel good that he’s plenty weird and so plenty like me. He is Spiderman The Fireman Who Will Straight Up Cut A Duck.

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31 thoughts on “The Duck Is On Fiya!

  1. Looks like you’re mastering the art of letting go. My mom didn’t. When I was 5, over my furious protests, she made me a clown outfit and applied bright makeup to my face. It took me years to live it down at school!

  2. Tori: once I was a rubber tree. Branches and condoms hanging off of it. I thought I was brilliant. Hubby was mortified. Meanwhile, it’s not to late to slip him into a fabulous business suit and give him a briefcase (for his candy) and tell everyone he’s Christian Grey. That’s creepy, right? ;)

  3. spiderman may be my favorite superhero but your kid is one precious little fire man! (Even if it is adult occupational wear!) When I was a kid I was the pink power ranger for 4 years in a row… oh the creativity THAT took!

    • I was always, always something really ridiculous. Mostly because I have four siblings. My parents weren’t paying for that mess, so we all just picked old dance costumes from a giant bin in the garage. I was a number of different rock stars, hippie activists, and princesses, but I always smelled like dust and moth balls :)

  4. And, yet, another way to put out that burning idea, per my last comment! He seriously wins the prize for best adult occupational costume. What a cutie! My sons were policemen for a couple of years – if I put those photos together with photos of costumes from subsequent years, it looks like I have my own little Village People.

    • Hahaha. I will tell the boy to yell STOP! DROP! and TAMP ON IT! tonight as he makes his way from door to door. You might be onto something with a tiny Village People concept. If I can just find a few of Thomas’s classmates with negligent parents we might be able to work something out!

  5. You know, it’s kinda hard to tell what kind of post I’m gonna come across from your titles. I was fearing a horrific cooking incident, or worse yet, barnyard mayhem! ;)
    Though that is one DANG cute fireman! :D

  6. My daughter is dressing up as the queen of denial. She’s got a queen costume and a sigh attached to the front of her, with the word “No” written on it in neon yellow paint.

    I enjoyed your post above. Your son is so very cute–in whatever costume he ends up wearing.

  7. Well, Aunt Lane is certainly glad her nephew won the battle! I think the feminine hygiene needs to be left to Mom, or he might be weirded out for years. He is seriously the cutest karate-chopping, Spiderman-Fireman I have ever seen! Maybe he is a fireman who wants to put out spiders?

    • No worries :) TOTALLY kidding on the tampon front. I think up some pretty awful ideas but never follow through with them! He is a pretty darn cute fireman/ duck hunter/ Spiderman. I think he’s got better judgment than I do, so he’ll definitely be picking out his costumes from now on!

  8. Aw, my son was a fireman with no neck when he was around three, too! No matter what your little man chooses to be, I’ve no doubt he’ll rock the costume. (this coming from someone who once dressed up as the Fruit of the Loom grapes when she was 11)

    • Darla, the image of you sipping coffee, typing witty comments on your laptop while dressed in like a sassy, pantied cluster of grapes. This will make me smile for DAYS :) I’m realizing I can’t take my creativity (maybe insanity is a better word?) out on the little guy. He was adorable just as he was. He immediately began tipping his fireman helmet off to fellow trick-or-treaters like a tap dancer taking a bow… while screeming “Wee Haw!” like a cowboy with a speech impediment. Then he karate chopped an innocent Spider Girl. He’s got the creative part down pat without my help!

    • The kid was CONFUSED. He kept tipping his hat and yelling “WEE HAWWW!” like a cowboy. Also punched a few kids so he could beat them up the steps to ring the doorbell first, but I’m pretty sure that had nothing to do with costumes.

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  11. Little T looked great! My niece went as a butterfly but was given fangs as she was trick-or-treating, so she ended up morphing into a Vampire Butterfly. They exist, right?

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