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My Son, Dopey

November 1st, 2011  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  4 Comments

We’re all in a post-Halloween sugar crash right about now. You too. I saw you sneaking KitKats by the fistful last night.

But my crash is tinged with a little dose of further regret: did we knowingly humiliate our boy for Halloween?

Of course we did, you say. Every pre-sentient (and I’m still putting a 3-year-old in that group) Halloween outfit is at least half humiliation: “oh, how cute” but also, “What a ridiculous-looking, flabby lion you make. You can’t even hold your stupid head up.”

The costume setup was this: the kids have been watching a lot of Snow White. And despite her weird and warbly voice, Snow White has been growing on my kids. My daughter is a pretty fine approximation of Snow White (Half White?): ebony hair, ivory skin. So it was decided by her and her (very involved in Halloween) mother that she would be Snow White.

The boy, small and droll, was immediately chosen to be a dwarf. But not just the more regal of the dwarves. Not Doc, the boss of the group. Nor Grumpy, who was at least allowed his feelings. Not even the stricken Sneezy or Sleepy. No, we made him Dopey, the bald deaf-mute who doesn’t do much except pratfall comedy.

But he IS Dopey. He’s funny and sweet and–did I mention–small. We say Dopey with affection. But I think it wasn’t taken that way on the Halloween circuit last night. How many other costumes would’ve gotten this response from kindly candy-givers in the neighborhood?

“Hi there! And what are YOU for Halloween.”


“No you’re not, don’t say that!”

The costume was a hit with most people. But those few teasing voices must’ve been confusing for the boy. I could sense a little bit of his pride, which was considerable (it was a fine homemade dwarf tunic-and-belt combo), wearing off over the course of the past few days. Last night he had decided he wanted to be a dragon, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he regretted not sticking to his guns.

But perhaps it’s all a sideshow from the humiliation that I haven’t even acknowledged yet: pairing his costume and his sister’s together like this was some kind of central planning society, or German-style Partnerlook. That may be the thing that really appalls them right about this time next year…


  1. Nathan says:

    November 2nd, 2011at 7:00 am(#)

    Our daughter (5) was a witch, and when her little brother (2) said he wanted to be a pumpkin, I had similar concerns.

    But then he clarified. He wanted to be a scary pumpkin. And he started this kind of yell/hiss to show it.

    So it all worked out. The looks were priceless when people wanted to be all cutesy with him, and he went into the scary pumpkin routine.

  2. Jason says:

    November 3rd, 2011at 1:23 pm(#)

    The day before Halloween, my son was already talking about his ideas for next Halloween. The days of egging houses and mailbox baseball cannot come soon enough.

  3. Michael says:

    November 4th, 2011at 12:42 am(#)

    They canceled Halloween in my town, so my kids got to be humiliated in a neighboring town where they didn’t know as many people.

  4. Holmes says:

    November 7th, 2011at 3:36 pm(#)

    I was pretty pleased when my boys both wanted to be ninjas this year because 1) cheap costumes and 2) NINJAS!

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