The school the wee ones attend does a lot of cool things throughout the year. We’re in the midst of our annual reading program where kids log their minutes above and beyond the usual homework and earn prizes over the course of five weeks to get them excited about their love of reading. This is the wee ones’ favorite time of year. Me? Not so much.
Today was the annual “Miss Alaineus Day” where kids dress up like their favorite words in honor of the hilarious kids’ book Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster. In the book, Sage misunderstands her teacher’s vocabulary list while she’s home sick and humiliates herself in the vocabulary quiz, but her mom saves the day. The puns and wordplay are great, and the vocabulary parade we have plays to that punniness.
Her first year at school, Little Miss wanted to be a tree. So she wore brown leggings and a green shirt. I cut out hundreds of little green leaves and spent the morning before school started taping them to her shirt. Unfortunately, I learned tape isn’t so great on cotton, and they started coming off. We quickly changed her costume to “autumn” instead.
This year, Little Miss started out wanting to be awesome. So she was going to dress as an Angry Bird. I nixed that idea for two reasons. First, when you see an Angry Bird, your first thought isn’t “awesome.” In fact, it may not even be your second or third thought. Second – and far more important – I have no idea how to create an Angry Bird costume.
Fortunately, they both came up with other ideas, with a little guidance from me.
One friend’s son was dressing as charming. He came to school in fancy clothes with a big smile on his face, holding a bouquet of flowers that he handed out to all his teachers at the end of the day. Another boy wanted to be an X-Ray. So his mom bought black posterboard and drew a skeleton on it that he could hold in front of him. And so on and so forth. There was a boy who came as patriotic dressed in his Boy Scout shirt, with camo pants and a big Uncle Sam hat.
In our house, things were a little different. The wee ones both figured out how they were going to do their costumes, but it’s possible that it was almost 8am this morning when they finally actually started to create them. Granted, I would happily have made something for them, but their ideas were so simple that they could easily do it all themselves.
I thought Little Miss’s costume was actually rather clever. She’s an egghead. And she very proudly colored a yolk and cut it out to attach to her hat. Then she realized it was all of 2 inches and needed to be bigger. Fortunately, she’s a fast color-er.
Mister Man came up with sunset, and I’m still not quite sure what sparked that idea. His blue jeans were meant to represent the ocean and his orange shirt was the brilliant sky. My hope was that we could create a large and bright enough sun that it would cover all the writing on his orange shirt.
Not quite. And at almost 8am (after he first started by trying to make a perfect circle with the paper, resulting in a sun smaller than Little Miss’s first egg yolk), this was as good as it was going to get. On the plus side, I did learn from my tree experiment with Little Miss years ago. I used packing tape and wrapped it loosely around him so that it would have to stay on.
And I swear I did it loosely. But Mister Man being Mister Man, he complained that it was so tight that he couldn’t breathe and his ribs were breaking. I’m pretty sure the child has a future in the theater. And we had no more yellow paper or time to do it again, so he got to deal with it.
Maybe this isn’t my best work. But the wee ones were both proud of their costumes, and they had fun with them and the parade. And in the end, isn’t that really what matters? It isn’t about how beautiful a costume I can sew or paint in showing my skill but in their pride in what they created and love.
Or so I keep telling myself.