So our day care, which is also a school but really day care, does fun things with its classes like Pirate Week. An entire week of fun activities like Treasure Hunt and Make a Pirate Picture Frame and Sprinkler Day, which seems slightly unrelated to the rest but hey, it's hot out. And Friday was Dress Like a Pirate Day.
Never mind the fact that I'm not actually sure 3- and 4-year-olds are ready for pirate chic. Or for the real-life pirates who were in fact fairly bloody people. If I wouldn't bring my kid on Pirates of the Caribbean yet, should I be dressing him pirate-ish?
But hey, new town, first time in a formal school (day care) setting, new friends, he's been a little slow to adjust, bring on the pirates, maybe he'll like it.
Two problems. One, last year was the first year we actually bothered to dress him up for Halloween (if you've ever seen this kid on sugar you'd understand), so we don't have a backlog of costumes for him. Two, where do you find pirate gear in July?
Answer: Nowhere. Unless Babies R Us happens to have some early Halloween stuff in the back and will sell it to you for full price.
You may be cringing. I was cringing. I don't buy Halloween costumes. I make them. Thrift stores are my friend. One year I found a giant inflatable shark, attached him to my shoulder and went as a shark attack victim (we were living in Florida at the time so it was funnier. Um, in that sick way). Another year DH and I wore a dress and a tux, added horns and creepy makeup and went as demon prom dates. He even made me a corsage of black roses. (And now I can say that yes I did wear that bridesmaid's dress again.) So the very notion of shelling out for a pre-fab costume, especially one too hot to wear in July anyway, was bothersome. But we figured, it's a backup option in case I didn't find anything else.
Yeah. The closest I came was a pj set with a big shark on it and a pirate ship in the background.
Somewhere in all this I realized, we've become those parents. The micromanaging ones. The neurotic ones who would spend $30 on an unnecessary costume just so their kid wouldn't feel left out on freaking Pirate Day. Geez, next we'll be hiring him happiness consultants.
Anyway. I decided the best compromise was, he'd wear the pj shirt and use the floppy skull-and-crossbones hat and sword from the costume. Pirate-ish and no heat stroke. Which seemed to suit him, although he'd rather tote a Matchbox car around than a sword. We even got him to do his pirate impression.
"Kiddo, how does a pirate go?"
Apparently they made telescopes out of paper towel rolls, got temporary tattoos and had a fine time. And I still have the option of bringing that costume back to the store. So let's call that a win-win.
Next week they want the kids to come in dressed like cowboys. Honestly.