Last week, Annabel was able to dress up in her Halloween costume for preschool. At the end of the school day the kids got to trick-or-treat around the building, and the teachers needed parents to volunteer to hand out candy and other treats. I volunteered, not only because I was happy to help out, but because I really wanted to see Annie in action with her schoolmates.
The day before Halloween it suddenly occurred to me that I might want to dress up to hand out candy at the preschool. I asked Annabel what she thought. “Oh yes Mama, [girl] and [boy] said their mommies are dressing up for school!” This was probably not true since Annie hadn’t really interacted with those kids since before we’d gone on vacation, but you never know with Annie – I think about half the stories she tells me about school are true, or have a tiny kernel or truth. Like, she does have a classmate with red hair, but I’m pretty sure that girl isn’t the red-headed mermaid Annie claims she is.
I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t want to be the only parent who dressed up, but I really didn’t want to be the only one who didn’t. I decided to ask Annie.
“Yes Mama, it would be so special if you wore a costume! Mama, I want you to be ALL PINK. Like Pinkalicious! You can wear a twirly pink dress and pink hair and pink shoes and your face can be pink and it will be so beautiful!”
So much pink! I promised her I’d do my best.
On actual Halloween, Annabel was so excited to put her costume on and go to school that she forgot about me dressing up for her class. James and I had a little time between dropping her off and going back for trick-or-treating, so we put our costumes on. James was the lamb, and I put together a (moderately) pink costume out of things I already had.
When I pulled up, a wave of panic washed over me…because none of the other moms were dressed up. I didn’t care if the other moms looked at me like I was crazy, but I realized Annie might be embarrassed that I had on a pink wig and makeup when none of the other parents did. The last thing I wanted to do was embarrass her, and I was terrified that I might.
I tried to play it cool around the other moms, like, “Lalala, what pink wig?” and then two other moms showed up wearing costumes. I was sooooo relieved.
The kids came out and I couldn’t help but laugh at the teachers’ attempts to keep the kids in an orderly line. They all wanted to sprint from station to station to trick or treat. When they finally weaved around to me, the kids were all so focused on the items I was handing out that they barely looked up at me. In fact, Annie received her treat without glancing up, and only realized I was there after she noticed James. “Oh Mama, you’re here! Did you see my candy?!”
After the trick-or-treating was done, the kids sang the parents a song (Five Little Pumpkins) and then I got to take Annie home. As we walked to the car, Annie looked at me and said, “Hey, you and Jamesie are in costume! That’s fun, Mama!! Wait…why are you wearing that?” Apparently she’d forgotten our entire conversation, but as long as she was happy with me, I was didn’t mind.
Debbie A-H says:
She is a riot, and you are awesome!
Oh, I think you still have quite a few years before she’ll be embarrassed by you! =)
Awesome mom to do that for her child. What great memories you are giving these two! Rock on, Heather!
Ha ha. I can never figure out what is going to embarrass my daughter. Love notes in her lunch box? Thrilling! Ranch dip to accompany her carrots? Mortifying! Greek yogurt, peas, hummus? Bring it on. I never know.
In my experience as a multiage teacher, there is practically nothing you can do as a parent that will embarrass a toddler or preschooler. They really start feeling embarrassment about their parents around second grade or so. Before that you’re generally golden.
She won’t be upset. Do that when she’s in Middle School and then we can talk.