Friday, October 23, 2015

The Recycled Kangaroo

Aden wanted to be a kangaroo for Halloween again this year.  She loves being a kangaroo.  She likes being soft, she likes having a big tail, and she likes having a pouch (which conveniently holds either candy or the dog).

Aden has been a kangaroo many, many times.  It was the first costume idea she picked for herself when she wasn't quite three.  (I made several suggestions, but when she realized she could use the pouch of a kangaroo costume for Trick-or-Treating, that was it.)

The main thing I learned from that first kangaroo costume was that in subsequent costumes not to include feet.  I didn't expect my kids to wear their costumes over multiple years (and for any and every occasion), but they do, and room for added leg growth has proven necessary.

So as much as Aden liked being a snowy owl last year, and a zebra the year before, she really liked her kangaroo costume from the year before that and decided to wear it again.  It just needed a few alterations.

The before and after pictures pretty well sum it up.  I added several inches of fabric to the ends of the legs and arms.  I also put some fresh stuffing in the tail and lowered it about a foot.

The girl grew a lot in the past couple of years!  

Anyway, I got off easy with her costume this time around.  Which is good, because Mona's costume has been a bit of a challenge.  (More on that soon.)

Aden's been asking if it's really appropriate to keep Trick-or-Treating at her age.  I told her there are a few different parts of that to consider:

The first is that you are never too old for a costume.  This is proven best by her uncles who not only continue to wear elaborate Halloween costumes every year, but find other opportunities to wear costumes as well.  Exhibit A:  Uncle Barrett at her school last spring to give insect lectures to all my kids' classes.  (He was a huge hit, even among kids who only saw him in the halls.)  I promised Aden I will make her costumes when she's 30 if she still wants me to.
Barrett and me outside Fernwood
Barrett lecturing in the adolescent classroom
Second, in my experience, nobody resents Trick-or-Treaters of any size or age if they are in a good costume, which Aden always is.

And third, she has a built-in excuse to Trick-or-Treat because she has a little brother to take around.  He's only eight, so there are years left where nobody would question his coming to the door, and someone has to take him.

I know a lot of people who get strangely fussy about Trick-or-Treat.  Some of it is based on their own sense of tradition: They didn't Trick-or-Treat past a certain age or past a certain time so they expect everyone else to abide by the same arbitrary rules.  Some of it is frankly racist, or classist, when people get upset by kids from different neighborhoods coming to collect candy in ours.  Personally, I'm always a little put off by people collecting candy for babies, because I think that's weird.  

But you know what?  I give it to them anyway.  Because I bought the candy to give away.  What difference does it make?  I suppose if I were tired I could give all ten bags of it to the first kid and turn in for the night.  Who cares?  So if anyone gives Aden a hard time for Trick-or-Treating because she's 13, well, then they are being ridiculous and that's on them.

I don't think anyone will mind her coming to their door this Halloween, though.  Because how could anyone not love a kangaroo?


  1. I think she's fine to trick or treat for candy as long as she wants!

    However, every year I get some older teenagers who trick or treat with a wagon and collect canned goods for the food bank. I think this is really cool so I give them lots of candy too! (Although I'd give them candy anyway because, like you said, I bought the candy to give away, what does it matter how old they are?!). Anyway, something along those lines might make her feel better about it as she gets older.


    1. That's a great idea! My kids have been collecting cereal for the food pantry as birthday presents for the past couple of years, so food collection as part of Trick-or-Treat would really appeal to them.