Monday, November 4, 2013

How You Shouldn't Make a Backhoe Costume...

My mom is the Queen of Creativity.  Give her a piece of chalk, a few scraps of fabric, some play jewelry and she is like MacGyver with Halloween costumes.

My creativity doesn't flow as freely as hers.

Regardless, I had every intention of making Samuel a Halloween costume this year.  But when I asked him what he wanted to be, I could see my dream of a homemade costume flying out the window...

He wanted to be a backhoe.

In case you are unsure of what a backhoe is....

There ya go.  A scoop using, giant wheel moving, stabilizer situated backhoe.

Me:  "Don't you want to be a person?  Like a firefighter or a construction worker?"
Samuel:  "An 18-wheeler!"
Me:  "That's not a person.  That's a thing."
Samuel:  "How 'bout an 18-wheeler driver?"
Me:  "Ok, I'll think about that."

While it would have been easy enough to do a truck driver costume, I couldn't imagine a way to make it very interesting.  Give him a 5 o' clock shadow, a flannel shirt, a hat, a steering wheel...and what else?  I couldn't think of a way to make him look very truck driver-ish without the costume going south in a hurry.  I mean, I really wanted to avoid the "I *Heart* Mom" tattoo on his arm...

After days (alright, alright...WEEKS) of thinking it over, I decided to go back to the backhoe idea...only two days before Halloween.  MISTAKE #1.

So we dug out a few diaper boxes, I cut out the arm and the scoop, and my architect/model-building husband assembled it for me.

Diaper boxes.  Mistake #2.  Man.  They were not the best choice.  After three full bottles of yellow paint, that cute little diapered baby was STILL smiling through.

On Halloween morning, I finished up the last bottle of paint and declared it 'acceptable.'

Did I mention that I was scavenging through kid's clothing stores looking for a yellow shirt and pants a few hours before dark?  Yes, my procrastination was complete.

By the time we were ready to tie him into the costume, I was in full-on melt-down mode.  "This is a disaster!"  I complained to Michael.  "There is no way he is going to let us tie him in this!  Will anyone know what he is?  Maybe we should just stay at home."

Nothing like a freaking-out mother to zap the fun out of a holiday.  MISTAKE #3.

But you know what?  Samuel could not have been more excited about the costume.  He patiently waited as we strapped him in.  He didn't complain that his shirt was too big (the only available yellow shirt in fifty miles.)  And most of all, he was beyond excited about getting some candy.

Which is funny, since he won't eat it.

Samuel and his friend Olivia (who is dressed as an octopus...adorable huh?!?) went door to door and were pretty much the cutest duo ever.

That costume looked pretty good in the dark!  I was surprised as he received compliment after compliment (even though some people thought he was dressed as Bob the Builder.)

In the end, my worry was unfounded.  The kids had a great time, Samuel looked great, and the strings holding his costume up held out until just after the last house.  Perfect timing.

Next year I'll start earlier.  Next year I won't freak out.  Next year I REALLY HOPE he won't want to be a backhoe!

And let's not forget about baby sister...who made the sweetest little lion...


  1. A piece of advice for next time: spray paint. Covers everything, including things you don't want covered.

  2. best costume (hands down) i've ever seen. This is awesome! Great job :)

  3. I agree Sarah, best costume that I have seen this year. Pretty awesome for a last minute put together. I just ordered ours from a costume store!

  4. so innovative!! awesome job!! highly impressed ;)

  5. I think you did an amazing job!!!!!