Ghost Puppets and a Dragon
It’s Halloween again and my kids’ environment has had an effect on them, especially my daughter. She seems to have absorbed the whole witches, pumpkins and ghosts thing even though I didn’t think that we pushed it that much. We’ve limited ourselves to one seance per night for the last week. It’s funny how much of an impact a couple of floating transparent spirits can have on a three-year-old, let alone an almost forty-year-old (me).
My little angel decided to use a veil-like cloth from her dress up clothes as a disguise the other day. She put it over her head and walked toward her brother and me with her arms out in front of her.
“I’m a ghost, daddy.”
“Ooh, I’m scared, little ghost,” I said.
I really wasn’t because I could tell that it was she, but I wanted to play along. The biggest give away was the use of the word daddy while she advanced toward us. She’s worked on her sharing skills lately and decided to let her brother be the ghost by putting the cloth over his head and telling him to say boo. He wasn’t keen on the idea and ripped it off of his dome with a little extra umph as if to say, don’t do that again. I was designated ghost next and I played it up hard until the boy used the same technique to remove the veil from my face. He either didn’t like my Vincent Price-esque boo or he wanted to see his daddy’s handsome face. We repeated this little ghost exchange for a while until something more important caught my daughter’s eye, most likely a dinosaur or her new imaginary friends, the monster trucks. She saw a cartoon once at my in-laws during the storm with little monster trucks and has played with them ever since. (For more on her imaginary friends see Imaginary Friends)
We sort of left it up to our daughter to decide for her what she would be for Halloween this year. She seems to have grasped the costume concept wholly and enthusiastically. Originally she was going to be a horse, but we swayed her away from that because we didn’t come up with a good costume that wouldn’t be too cumbersome for a young child and I didn’t want to have to walk behind her all night with a pooper-scooper because she really gets into her role-playing. It definitely would have been cute to see her trotting around saying giddy up, though… she attributes that to the horse, not the rider and we haven’t been able to get her to budge on that. The horse idea left the stable without incident when she decided on a new costume, a dragon. My wife’s eyes lit up because she knew that was doable and we enjoy watching her blowing fire out of her mouth. She’s pretended to do this on many occasions when she’s been a dragon sans costume. Maybe for Halloween I can teach her the butane lighter trick of blowing real fire out of her mouth. That would impress the neighbors. Then again, maybe it’s not a good idea.
Our son didn’t have the same freedom of costume choice as his sister. Birth order has its privileges. I should know because I’m the youngest of five. Every costume I ever wore was worn by at least two of my older siblings before me. Don’t get me wrong, they were great costumes and we won many prizes with them but one of my siblings happens to be a girl. Yes, my mother had me wear her costumes, too. Two of them stick out in my mind, a black cat and an Indian squaw with papoose. I did enjoy the black tights, but that’s not important right now. My son is also wearing a costume previously worn by his big sister, but his is gender neutral. It’s a bumblebee. He didn’t seem to mind it when we put it on him so hopefully he’ll make it through the night with his stinger still in place.
My daughter’s originality showed when she picked up her ghost veil again and wrapped it around her hand. I thought maybe she was just cold because I forgot to turn the furnace up, but she had something else in mind. She stood up and started running around saying boo.
“Are you a ghost?” I asked.
“No, daddy, this is a ghost puppet.”
I was floored. She’s been very creative for quite a while now, but this one surprised me. It’s probably not that amazing to someone who isn’t biased, but I’m impressed. I laughed so much watching her cruise around in circles with her hand in the air.
“Boo, booo, boooo.”
She booed so often that I thought the Buffalo Bills game was on TV again.