Picture it: October, 1982. People across the nation are going bananas for Cabbage Patch Kids, Lady Di's hair, and a loveable little alien and his human friend, Elliott, who have taken the cinematic world by storm.
A little boy who had recently seen E.T. decided that he just had to be the extra-terrestrial for Halloween. The only problem, his mother recalled, was that all of the E.T. costumes were long sold out. So she hit the fabric store and spent hours and hours sewing her own E.T. costume for her six-year-old son. It was a thing of beauty, with scaly "skin" and big, bulging eyes, and enough padding to keep her little trick-or-treater warm on even the most blustery of All Hallow's Eves. She presented her son the costume with pride, and was relieved to see the smile on his face. "It's great, mom," he exclaimed, "now let's get the sheet!"
"The sheet?" The mother was puzzled.
"Yes, we need to get a sheet and cut eyes into it," her son explained. And just why would he want to get a sheet and cut eyes into it when his mother had just left her blood, sweat, and tears on the sewing table to make him an E.T. costume?
"Because mom," her son said sweetly, "E.T. was a ghost for Halloween."
You've got to love the thought and creativity that goes into Halloween costume requests, but it's not always possible - or appropriate - to acquiesce. Just ask these other moms:
One year, Beck's son requested to trick-or-treat as obscure 19c Swedish playwright, August Strindberg, known as much for his affection for a pink helium balloon as for his plays. “We talked him out of it,” says Beck, “because ‘depressed 19th c Swedish playwright’ isn't a real friend-winner of a costume as a kid.”
Christi’s toddler son wanted to be a yellow Lego brick. “Easy to build,” she says, “but not compatible with toddler use. He could not sit down in class.” But – style points.
Julie’s daughter knew exactly what she wanted to be for Halloween in 2011. Then six years old, she went out, quite convincingly, as a vampire …. kitty … with no sense of humour.
Jill was actually excited when her daughter asked to be a sink – like, a bathroom sink – for Halloween this year. Jill started planning immediately, even working out how the “pipes” could be a candy-delivery system. Alas, children are fickle, and she decided instead to be a cookie. A great idea, down the drain.
Thea’s son went for a holiday mashup – yep, that was a pint-sized Santa Claus knocking at the door. Thea says he pulled it off quite nicely. Ho Ho Halloween.
Sarah’s daughter has asked to be a Pop Pixie character this year, but only once they’ve “popped,” which means Sarah has to make her daughter magically sprout gigantic wings and turn into a superhero. Can she pull it off? “I’ll let you know in about two weeks,” Sarah says. (Count this as one more reason I’m glad I don’t have cable.)
Lisa’s daughter decided to be a crane one year. No, not the flying kind – the kind you see at building sites. Dad spent a lot of hours constructing that one.
Beth ran into a strange gender binary/sexism issue when trying to satisfy her son’s desire to dress up as Hamm, the piggy bank, from Toy Story. Voiced by John Ratzenberger, it’s easy to assume that Hamm identifies as male. But the only Hamm costumes Beth could find were relegated to the “Girl” section of the costume store, meaning that (sigh) the costume had a short, poufy skirt. Thankfully, Beth’s son was not able to tell one ham from another, and loved the bespoke piggy bank costume Beth provided, with nary a tutu or logo in sight.
And you’d think that Jen got off easy when her son voiced his desire to be The Invisible Man – but all that invisibility takes a lot of work.
So what do your kids want to be this year? Have you ever had to field any bizarre requests?