November 1, 2010

DIY: land war in asia

first of all, half-o is awesome - but secondly, she will be the end of me.

this halloween nicely illustrates my protracted demise - plus an easy-peasy how-to for homemade fairy wings.

{yes, peruanos celebrate halloween - though not to the extent that we do in the states. the day coincides with el dia de la cancion criolla, or creole song day, so there are a lot of festivities - just not all are the spooky kind. also, instead of trick-or-treat, you say: halloween, halloween}

so early in october we introduced half-o to the main halloween concepts - mainly the dressing up part. she dresses up all the time anyway, so she was on board. when i asked her what she wanted to be for halloween, she replied: "a pumpkin". we serendipitously happened to have an orange pillowcase in our possession, so though not unique or clever, i was totally on board with her choice. so on board, in fact, that i went and got the pillow case and a green hand towel right then.

here's exhibit a: why half-o is awesome

she was totally down with this modern dance version of a pumpkin costume. she wore it for hours.

{it's been way cool watching her imagination develop. it's also very convenient. i can buy cheap band-aids, and we pretend they're the princess band-aids. we also eat pretend candy. she's even more obedient when in character. if i ask half-o to pick up her toys, she's a bit dismissive. but if i ask pumpkin or snow white or jane/michael banks, they're all over it.}

as the month went along, i'd periodically check in regarding her choice of halloween costume. for the most part, she continued to respond "a pumpkin" but occasionally and increasingly she'd say "a fairy". so in an attempt to avoid a halloween day meltdown - i make a pumpkin, she cries for a fairy; i supply fairy wings, she looks longingly at our orange couch while a silent tear slides down her cheek - i suggested she be a pumpkin fairy, and she excitedly agreed. i am so clever; i am so smart with strategery.

now i can't find any craft or fabric stores here. i believe most people buy wholesale, and i would gladly do that too - and i inquired on an expat site and went on a bit of a wild goose chase, and then decided that i'd rather take the challenge of making a pumpkin fairy out of supplies i could find at home and/or the grocery store over the challenge of traversing this large city in search of standard supplies and then still have to make the costume. i don't mind traversing adventures; i just prefer them without a deadline attached. additionally, i think i do better with macgyver, apollo 13 type challenges anyway (though, not actually those challenges - i just want to make a pumpkin fairy costume in a foreign country).

so thanks to some ingenuity and a little help from the internet, i made awesome fairy wings. they were surprisingly easy and turned out super cool. i fused together 12 sheets of cellophane by placing them between two big pieces of paper and ironing them. the resultant cellophane mass was thick enough to hold its shape, so i just traced/cut out wings. i don't know if you can tell in the pic below, but they're translucent and have a really neat texture. mission accomplished!

halloween arrives. pumpkin? check! fairy? check! half-o? nothing doing.

it totally doesn't matter that i have both a pumpkin and a fairy. she won't put on one piece of it. she won't let me put her hair in a ponytail (meant to be the pumpkin stem). she won't even come too close to me for fear i'll just muscle the costume right on her (she wouldn't be wrong).

no problem - she doesn't realize candy is on the line (and not pretend candy). time for a new tactic ...tactics.
  1. bribery (promises of candy galore): not interested
  2. an appeal to tradition (today is halloween - this is what one does): she quickly deduces the logical fallacy
  3. social pressure (other kids will be in costume): doesn't care
  4. diplomacy (rational recap of why she should put on her cute costume): no dice
  5. retreat
  6. stew a bit
  7. misdirection (sure, i'd love to help you with your puzzle. while you fit that piece in, i'm just going to put your hair in a ponytail. and while we celebrate our puzzle completion, how 'bout we try on our cool pumpkin costume?): perhaps it was the misdirection; perhaps she felt sorry for me, but my maneuver was met with little resistance.

i quickly secured the wings (large safety pins) while i asked the archaeologist to quickly grab the camera - this truce may not last long.

...but it did. she posed; she danced; she had some imaginative scenario going that entertained her til dark.

she is clever. she is so smart with her strategy of indefatigable caprice. i'm just tired.

later that night she and the archaeologist were on our bed reading when i came in to announce that dinner was ready. half-o responded that no, she didn't want to eat, just read her book. she invited me to join them on the bed, patting an empty spot next to her. i replied, in a sing-songy voice: "but we're having potato pie." without looking up from her book, she replied with the exact same sing-song: "but i don't want it." the archaeologist and i looked at each other with nervous smiles. it was pretty funny - it would've been funnier if she were someone elses kid -she's not yet 2. as we contemplated the potential strong-willed sass the future held, she finished her thought: "i want cake."


Cami said...

Wow, I am so incredibly impressed. Those wings are awesome. Good work! I also love the pumpkin and think she looks exactly like a pumpkin fairy should.

Anne said...

So funny, Annie. I laughed and laughed. Good things to come!

Jesse said...

We basically assemble your own from the costume box this year and Miriam was a fairy cat. Gwyn was a fairy witch, and Miriam was her cat. I think for most little girls, wings go with just about anything.

Seymour Chase said...

thanks cami - coming from you, with your awesome skills, it's quite a compliment.