Late Friday morning was the Monster Mash that has been put on by the community center where I work for the last eight years. Basically, this is when fifty-thousand or so preschoolers dressed as anything from a fairy princess to Spider Man arrive to enjoy a fun, safe, and not-so-scary Halloween event.
I’ve known for some time that I was expected to wear a costume of some sort. I even decided that I was going to dress as a cat. Nice and Halloween-y, yet cute and non-threatening. In my mind I envisioned the all black outfit I would wear, some charming little ears, a slinky black tail and a drawn on nose and whiskers.
The morning of the event, I realized that I hadn’t done anything about actually putting the costume together. In a mild state of creative panic, I grabbed an empty toilet paper roll. With a few snips of my magical scissors and some strokes of a paint brush, I had a passable set of ears. As they dried, I hunted through the dust bunnies under the bed hoping to find a pair of matching black shoes. Along with the shoes, I came across some stray bobby pins. I knew that they were what was somehow going to get those ears to stay on my head.
::: Imagine that this is a picture of painted cardboard ears with bobby pins sticking out of them. I’m not exactly sure what happened to them. :::
As I parked my Jeep at the community center, I realized that I hadn’t grabbed anything for a tail, or more importantly, anything to make whiskers with. I was running a little late as it was and no longer had time to do anything about it. My only hope was that someone else would be more prepared and and be willing to share with me.
I quietly joined the wonderful group of volunteers being briefed about their stations before the kids arrived. Rushing in right behind me, was one of my fellow instructors. Lauren was wearing a black and white polka-dotted dress, a sparkly black headband and lacey roll down socks. She said that she was dressed as Minnie Mouse. I could see that…kinda. Then she told me that she had forgotten to draw on a face and asked if I had anything she could borrow to do that with. I sadly shook my head.
It turned out that both Lauren and I were assigned to the “Story and Song” room. We just looked at each other and laughed. We had to the the two worse dressed staff members there. Lauren in her polka dots and no ears, and I all in black with strange cardboard triangles pretending to be ears, affixed to my head.
::: Now imagine a picture of Lauren and I. A picture that was never taken…thank goodness!:::
The Story and Song room is supposed to be where kids can come to take a break from all of the excitement in other areas of the center. They hadn’t counted on our personalities when they put us in that room. Lauren is the drama teacher and I…well…I just get goofy when I’m around a bunch of young children. What might have been a calm and soothing session with someone else, was full of animated stories and giggly songs. We had a wonderful time and so did the preschoolers that joined us.
I especially enjoyed asking the kids what they thought we were dressed up as. We got a lot of interesting answers, my favorite being that we were Ninjas. I was quite amused that not one person guessed that we were supposed to be a cat and a mouse.
Oh well…there’s always next year.