Despite mornings when I want to rip out my hair and run home screaming to hide under the covers, like last Friday, I love age four. The Grape at four, when he's not pitching a fit or sending me over the edge over some ridiculous demand, is really fun.
Four is articulate. Four is game. Four is still babyish enough to be really flipping cute. Check out his Halloween costume:
The Grape told me, back in September, that he wanted to be Paddington Bear for Halloween. No problem, I assured him.
A quick Google search indicated we indeed had a big problem. A Paddington movie releases in late 2014. All the old Paddington merchandise has been discontinued, presumably so the Paddington people can rake in the cash from new, movie-inspired Paddington merchandise.
I did what any not-crafty mom would do in this situation: I backpedaled. I asked the Grape, repeatedly, and at various times, over many days, what he wanted to be for Halloween. He never wavered. "Paddington," he told me again and again, with a mix of earnestness and disgust over the fact that I couldn't seem to remember this basic thing.
Even though I knew the costume would be a project, I was thrilled he a) chose a character from literature, and b) still wanted to be cute rather than ghoulish.
I don't sew. I have never owned a sewing machine, unless you count this little toy Holly Hobby one I received from a family friend for Christmas circa 1979, and promptly broke by sending my brother's winter hat through it.
I did not sew this costume.
R's mom did, and I think it came out unbearably cute (ha ha).
I'll spare you the details of our family adventure in the fabric store. Who knew the patterns were cataloged in a kind of crafty Dewey decimal system? Or that notions weren't just thoughts? Or that you had to have your stuff measured at one desk and then get in line to pay at another?
We added a sunhat in place of the bush hat (those cost huge dollars—who knew?), and yes, I caved and bought the coat (On clearance! And he can wear it all winter, and maybe next winter, too!). R. made the suitcase out of a cardboard box, brown duct tape and a handle fashioned from braided clothesline. We sacrificed a manila folder for the decal Wanted on Voyage and the tag that reads: Please Look After This Bear. Thank you. And voila: Cute Paddington outfit complete.
The Grape had a blast walking to a Halloween party Saturday night. Passersby recognized the iconic bear and the Grape tipped his hat at some of them. On the way home (I won't say how late it was), as we stood outside by the Public Garden in search of a taxi, he fixed a few drivers who passed us by with Paddington's legendary hard stare.
I doubt they noticed, but four is fun.