I’ve never liked Halloween. I don’t like being scared. I can’t watch CSI (too graphic), I never, ever listen to the haunted house radio commercial, and that thing where people are shooting zombies with paintball guns?
Thanks, but no thanks.
Alas, I have a child now, and I am obligated to make sure he has a fun time during the Halloween season. And if he doesn’t have fun I have to at least take pictures that look like he’s having fun.
I’m a firm believer in your children’s costumes showcasing your child’s interests, and not yours. So that ruled out dressing him up as Peyton Manning or Mark Cuban or one of the Kardashians.
Otis isn’t interested in much other than cars and tractors, which is great, but I wasn’t big on making a cumbersome car out of cardboard and walking him around town in it.
No. I needed something simpler. But still on point.
Handy Manny immediately came to mind, despite the fact that it abandons my aforementioned belief because Handy Manny does not have a car (as far as I know) and Otis has no clue who Handy Manny is because (as far as I know) his show was cancelled in 2012.
But Otis looked a lot like Handy Manny. And that was all I needed.
So for 2013 my kid was going to be a rejected Disney star. Well, the dignified, rejected Disney Star. Ahem, Miley.
Every conversation I had with Mark about Otis’s costume went like this:
Me: I need (insert
excuse reason to go to Target) for Otis’s Handy Manny costume.
Mark: Who is Handy Manny? I don’t know him.
Me: Dora’s uncle? I don’t know.
Now that I’m basically an expert in cosplay levels of detail and ingenuity, I felt it best to share my wisdom.
First, let’s break this epic costume down:
Handy Manny has a green shirt. Easy enough. Otis got a green shirt. WITH a gray undershirt and hoodie because, like any good mom, I wanted to be prepared for The Elements.
Handy Manny has a red hat. Again, easy. I found a couple of hats in the boy section at Target. I went with this one because it had the most red. And the inclusion of Lightning McQueen meant that Otis might like it a bit more.
All that McDonald’s paid off, guys. Our trick-or-treat bucket is courtesy of our most recent Happy Meal. Also, the bucket’s Star Wars theme provides a nod to Otis’s SyFy Nerd heritage.
I’ve been so excited to tell you about FOUR. Handy Manny has a tool belt, so I went and bought a little kid tool belt for Otis. Simple enough, right? Wrong. Otis wouldn’t wear the tool belt. Without the tool belt all I had was a kid in jeans and a t-shirt, and, well, that’s not winning any costume contests, right? But then I got all kinds of clever.
Me: Mark! Let’s tie the tool belt around the bucket!
Mark: That’s a great idea!
Me: I KNOW! I’m so clever! I’m becoming an Oates! Conjuring up my inner Connie**!
I wrapped the tool belt around the trick-or-treat bucket and Voila! He was transformed from boring little boy with a horrible mom to Handy Manny Impersonator Extraordinaire!
*The Oates family is ridiculously resourceful. Ridiculous. So any time my answer to a problem does not include going to Wal-Mart I feel like I’m becoming an Oates and/or becoming my MIL, Connie.
So no worries, Moms-Without-A-Halloween-Plan. You, too, can impress your friends and family by… putting clothes on your child.
In first grade, I was a Playboy Bunny. So, no, I don’t think I’m doing irreversible damage.