Over the past six years I have struggled to find Halloween costumes for Mia; costumes that are not only feasible but also fun. This actually ends up being quite the complicated task, harder than one would think. The reason it is so difficult is because, like a lot of autistic children, Mia has many tactile issues. She only likes certain fabrics. She will not wear a ponytail or headband. She doesn’t like things covering her face. She won’t wear jewelry (with the exception of a small necklace.) She does not like the feeling of certain fabrics, or the weight of many layers. So, wings are out. Masks are out. Big bulky dresses are out. Most hats are out. Traditional headband antennae, ears, or crowns are all out. Wigs are most definitely out. Actually, most costumes are out – or at least the store bought equivalent is out, leaving Roger and I to figure out what to dress her up as, and, ultimately, how to do it. We always give her an option. And then we work from there, trying to keep the costume itself as simple as possible while still being able to accurately portray what it is she is trying to be. Thankfully, this year Mia wanted to be a bumblebee; an outfit idea she came up with completely on her own and one we were pretty confident we could throw together. This was the first year she actually made the decision without our help or coaxing.
Mia has had quite the array of costumes over the past five Halloween’s that she has actually dressed up for. Thanks to winter storm Alfred in 2011 she missed a Halloween. Mia’s first Halloween was the only time that an actual costume was purchased and not made, or put together by myself and Roger. She was a nurse. And, actually, we didn’t buy it. My sister, Samantha did. But, it was perfect. It was light and airy, traditional pink scrubs with the inscription “Nurse in Training” on the back. Even then, at that young of an age, Mia had an aversion to certain fabrics.
For Halloween number two Mia was a black cat. This was the first and last time we actually bought a set of Halloween accessories. We bought her a clip on tail, a black bow tie and a headband with ears. She wore the tail the longest, probably a whole five minutes. The ears she continually took off. As for the bow tie, we didn’t even bother. We also attempted to draw whiskers on her face; one side of her beautiful face came out good and the other side was a little shaky. We opted for black sweat pants and a black turtle neck for the costume itself instead of the traditional black body suit made of spandex that is sold at every store with a Halloween set-up. This was the year we realized that maybe traditional Halloween costumes weren’t a good idea for our nontraditional little girl.
For Mia’s third Halloween she was a ballerina. Strange choice since she has never been the most graceful child. She wore a pair of pink tights. This was probably the first and last time she has ever worn tights. I wouldn’t even attempt to try to put a pair on her now. We went to a store for “young dancers” to purchase her a leotard. We also found a really cute frilly pink skirt we used as a tutu. We used a pair of pink leather moccasins Mia owned as ballet slippers. This is probably one of my favorite costumes thus far.
The last time we went out for Halloween Mia was a pumpkin, a jack-o-lantern to be specific. This was my first real attempt at making a costume. We bought orange pants, an orange shirt, a green hat, and some black fabric paint. We put her in her orange pants and a black long sleeve t-shirt for underneath her jack-o-lantern shirt. I painted a mouth, eyes and nose on the orange shirt making turning it into a jack-o-lantern. To top it off we then put the hat on her head – signifying the green stem on top. She was officially a jack-o-lantern. It worked out well. Mia was so excited to dress up that she actually kept the hat on most of the time. It was nice. It was probably the first Halloween that Mia kind of understood what was going on. (Atleast, I think but I’m probably wrong.)
Our quest for putting together the perfect costume this year was made a bit easier when Mia decided to spend her money on a bumblebee costume for our dog, Henry VIII. Once he had his costume, Mia decided that she too needed to be a bumblebee. We were happy with that choice. It would be easy enough. I just had to figure out how to get around the wings and antennae. We bought a yellow shirt and from the craft section we got pipe cleaners, pompoms, felt, fabric glue and black fabric paint. I painted stripes on the yellow shirt and glued on the stinger I made out of felt. Finally, I figured out how to make the antennae; I used hair clips, the only thing she will wear in her hair, and glued on pipe cleaners and pompoms. We just skipped the wings. (Although, in retrospect I see now that I could have made wings out of felt just as I made the stinger and fabric glued them on.. oops!) It came out decent enough, especially considering we purchased all of the items last night and I put it together at around 9:30 pm!
Mia was really happy with the outcome. Last night before it was finished she wanted to wear it. This morning when it was time to get ready for school and I told her she could wear her costume she was so excited. She kept repeating “I’m a bumblebee!” She also made a point to look at herself in every single mirror we have in our house twenty times before we left! She really enjoyed admiring herself as a bumblebee! At school she marched at the very front of the Halloween Parade. She was so proud.
I have to be honest though.. I still think it’s too bad she won’t wear a crown. She should have worn one on her head because she is most definitely the “queen bee” in our household “hive.” 🙂
..and now I’m going to completely over kill this post with a few pictures from this year. Happy Halloween friends!!
(P.S. – I know this post is a day late BUT I am a mother and “trick or treating” came before blogging!)