Helena by mid-August had announced she wanted to be a ghost for Halloween. How lame, I thought — what's more cliché than a ghost at Halloween. We offered her some alternative, more exciting suggestions: pirate, dragon, spider. Silly, she says. Two months later, she has not wavered from her initial choice. Ghost it is.
Partly, I was relieved. Easy, I thought. Just throw a white sheet over her.
But I've given it some more careful consideration. I realize that throwing a sheet over a small child, no matter how effective as a costume, if it wouldn't actually cause some serious mishap due to impaired vision, tripping, or snagging, would nevertheless be frowned upon, not necessarily on our trick-or-treating stroll through the neighbourhood, but certainly by daycare administrators, for the aforementioned reasons of safety, and by the parents of her daycare peers, my efforts likely eliciting a string of criticisms regarding parental laziness in the creative costuming department.
Besides, I don't have any white sheets. Well, one set, but they're textured in a subtle stripey fashion, a 300 thread count, and they were expensive.
Easy. I'll buy a ghost costume, I thought. I searched high, and I searched low, but nary a ghost costume to be found. And really, why would manufacturers bother producing such a cliché thing when it's as simple as throwing a sheet over one's head?
Well, I was prepared to buy a costume, I may as well spend the money on a white sheet instead. Easy! Alas, not so. I searched the same and other places, high and low. And I found white sheets all right — very expensive high-thread-count white sheets. (Will "cheap" always mean "ugly floral"? Are ghosts really white?)
(Why? Why? couldn't she want to be something actually easy, like princess or WWI flying ace?)
So, I went to the fabric store and bought some fabric. Cheap. Then I went to the dollar store, to see about a mask, or make-up, or something. I now have the materials of most-excellent-ghost-costume-ever at the ready. I even have an idea of how to go about it. And I have less than a week to do it.
I have on hand also one very excited little ghost girl. (Excitement in part owing to excessive sugar intake in effort to deplete last year's Halloween candy stash before a new one is generated. My rationing calculations were a little off.)
And it seems ghost is a pretty unique Halloween costume concept after all.