Halloween costumes have been a recent hot topic at our house in the 5-and-under crowd. My 3-year-old's little witch costume was easily acquired, but my 5-year-old, Hubba, has consistently insisted on being Boba Fett from Star Wars "because he has a jet pack and carries two guns." For two weeks I have searched various stores and internet sites in the hope of finding a child-sized Boba Fett costume at a reasonable cost - to no avail.
Yesterday I discovered that a local "Bullseye" store (as Hubba tends to call it) carried the child-sized costumes. I loaded up a few of the crew and off we went to make all of Hubba's Halloween dreams come true.
They were out of his size.
"Hubba," I told him, "these are all too big. What should we do?"
Without blinking an eye he said, "Oh, well. I guess I'll be Darth Vader."
Not a minute later he had changed it to a pirate, then a skeleton, then a firefighter, based on what costume happened to come into his line of vision.
Frustrated by his fickle ways, I stated that he might as well just wear the same firefighter costume that I made for him last year.
"Okay." He answered. "Let's go, then."
I was shocked by his indifference. So much time would have been saved if we had just reached this conclusion to start with! However, I quickly realized that the fault was mine. Despite the fact that I have fond memories of wearing the same cheap, plastic WitchiePoo costume over and over for years as a child, it never even crossed my mind to have Hubba wear a repeat costume from the previous year. Why?
I think that, as adults, we tend to make things much bigger than they are in a child's mind. He wants to be Boba Fett? Well, then - I will search to all ends of the earth until his request is granted! And then when I find the costume in a crumpled heap in the back of his closet a couple of days later, why am I surprised? He is five years old. He is living in the moment.
I wonder sometimes if it is easier to make children happy than we think. I wonder if we, the adults, are the ones who are guilty of over-stimulating their brains with our own ideas of what they should want. (Don't even get me started on Christmas.)
We got home, dug out the old costume, and Hubba is perfectly content to be a firefighter again. Lesson learned.
Granted, I did hear him ask his older brother if firefighters ever wear jetpacks or carry guns. So maybe he'll be a gun-wielding fireman.
I'm okay with that.