The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: Halloween

Something’s gotta give

Receiving a call from your child’s teacher at 7:30 a.m. is rarely a good thing.

And learning that your six-year-old son won’t stop crying is not the kind of news any parent ever wants to hear.

But realizing that the reason he’s crying is because of me? That, my friends, is a game changer. Continue reading

…and that’s why Halloween can bite me.

Extreme. Candy. Coma.

Can’t. Function.

Need. More. Kit-Kats.


Don’t go!

I’ll be nice! I promise!

Don’t you want to see what we looked like while we were out begging in the cold for High Fructose Corn Syrup and FD&C Red Dye #40 laden “fun-size” crap so we could feel so frickin’ awesome today?

(Sorry, it’s the candy talking. I may need Sugar Rehab.)

So, here’s my little Bucket Head. You should have seen how great he looked BEFORE he did a face plant off the back of the couch while trying to see himself in the mirror and then cried half his makeup off. My apologies to the family ringing our doorbell right while I was doing the (annual) “Pull it together, man! There’s no crying on Halloween. You quit that caterwauling this minute or we’re not Trick or Treating!” routine.

He eventually pulled it together. Bless it!

Also? His hair was Gordon Gekko straight for about 45 seconds before the curls started to revolt. I even used multiple palmfuls of “spike glue” to tame it, but to no avail. Some birds just aren’t meant to be caged, I guess.

Note the sneezing pumpkin in the background. That’s my teen boy’s doing. He so crazy!

Then came Mini-Me.

Her first attempt at being a Zombie was vetoed after she came down the stairs looking like Princess Zombie Skank on her way to a Street Walker Convention. Not kosher. She’s a smart girl though and knew it was better to Trick or Treat in a dorky, warm, mom-approved outfit than not Trick or Treat at all, so here’s what we came up with together…

Bless her heart.

And while Bucket Head was sniveling and Mini-Me was giving me attitude over having to de-skankify herself,  my oldest, Nature Boy (13-years-old), decided he was too old for Trick or Treating this year.


“Nooooooooooo!” I begged. “Please! One more year! I beg of you! Come on, don’t stay home! Come with us. It will be fun!”

“Mom, I can’t even eat most of the candy because of my braces. I just don’t feel like it this year,” he bemoaned.

But truth be told, he was just trying to punish me for the fact that he is “the only kid in the school without a cell phone.”

Which totally isn’t true. I know for a FACT there are at least three other 7th grade boys who do not have cell phones because their moms and I talk about this and we’re all holding firm. So there.

Finally though, Nature Boy decided to pull himself out of his phoneless-phunk and come along with the rest of us. And I’m so glad, because look how damn cute he was as “Shaggy” from Scooby Doo…

I mean, come on. Look at that punim.

Oh my Lord, how is it possible that this handsome young man was once small enough to dress up like a little eggplant?

A farmer and her prize eggplant, Halloween 2000, Oakland California.

I was too tired from all the kid corralling and counseling to dress myself up for Trick or Treating this year (unlike last year, or most years before that), but I did get to wear a costume to our friend’s annual Halloween Party last Saturday…

…it’s just my standard old lady get up. Sometimes I like to put it on just to embarrass my kids and give my husband a glimpse of his future. The best part of that costume is that I always use two long worm puppets (don’t ask) under my house dress as my breasticles. No lie. Here’s what their little faces look like, just in case you are one of the few people in the western hemisphere I didn’t flash last Saturday:

So that was our Halloween. How was yours?

All you east coasters are in my thoughts and prayers as you recover from the aftermath of that nasty ol’ wench Sandy. Stay strong, friends.

One last thing, I’m over In The Powder Room today sharing some controversial ideas about All Saints’ Day. It’s racy enough that one of my Catholic Facebook friends is saying a Rosary for me right now and steering clear of my house in case I get struck by lightning. Just another day in the life.

Holy crap. It’s November?!

Hold me,


My Mental Health Journey (Part 2): A Halloween Retrospective

So that was what all of our family Halloweens looked like BBH (before Bucket Head).

Once he joined the party in the spring of 2007, things got exponentially more challenging for me. To cope with the extra workload, I bought Mini-Me’s costume at Tarjay, wrapped Nature Boy in muslin rags from my fabric stash, and put Bucket Head in a brown fleece onesie/hat combo, claiming he was a baby bear.

We trick-or-treated that year with some friends whose child had a full-blown meltdown if he wasn’t the FIRST to ring the door bell at every.    single.    house.  And his parents bickered the entire evening about the best way to manage their son’s obsessively competitive nature. Meanwhile, Nature Boy’s muslin mummy rags were unraveling with every step he took and he would not stop whining about how much he hated his costume. I drank copious amounts of wine from my cleverly disguised travel coffee mug to quiet the voices deal with the stress.

Woodland Fairy, Mummy, Baby Bear, Halloween 2007. Nice bowling ball hold.

The best part about that year was watching Mini-Me carve a pumpkin with a power drill.

"Nothing comes between me and my Black & Decker."

Honest to Pete, if times ever get tough, I’mma just rent her out to do demos at The Home Depot. 

By 2008, I was starting to regain my will to live. Of course, all that illegally obtained prescription speed might have had something to do with it.

That was the year my two big kids wanted to be werewolves.

They think they're werewolves...

Little did they know, for the first time in 8 years, Mommy was going to dress up too…

...but I called them "target practice."

That was the year Mama Cloud moved into my neighborhood and we became fast friends. I love to joke about the fact that she’s technically young enough to be my daughter. That gave her a great idea. Look who showed up to trick-or-treat with us that year: 

Iris and Mama Cloud as Sarah and Bristol Palin, Halloween 2008.

Here in North Georgia, this ensemble went over like a blender full of kittens. Live and learn. At least I now know which of my neighbors own pitchforks if I ever need to borrow one. 

Bucket Head was 18 months old that year, so we dressed him all in red and told him he was Elmo.

He was pretty fucking terrified by the whole experience.

The face says it all.

It sure was fun to dress up again! But sadly, that spunky groove was short lived. I abandoned my burgeoning blog so I could help Mini-Me through a rough patch in Kindergarten. She had just been diagnosed as having sensory processing challenges and it was translating into behavior issues at school. By the time we got to the next Halloween, I was pretty tuckered out and told the kids they had to make do out of old costumes and stuff they could find around the house. I like to call this move “fostering independence.”

Bank Robber, Indian, Dinosaur, Halloween 2009.

As you can see, they did pretty well on their own that year. Noted!

Which brings us to last year. That was the year I turned 40 and ran my first 5k race. Mini-Me had a great teacher who appreciated her uniqueness and was thriving at school. Bucket Head finally figured out how to buckle himself into and out of his own 5 point harness car seat…always a milestone for me of light at the end of the tunnel!

And I was well enough to dress up again with the kids. Even The Gatekeeper got into it for the first time ever.

We asked my 81 year old father-in-law to take a picture of us:

Nailed it.

And that’s just how he operates a camera. You should see him drive a car.

Luckily, one of my brothers-in-law was standing by:

Charlie Brown, Flo the Progressive Mascot, Cow, She-Devil, Raccoon, Halloween 2010.

Nature Boy made that cow costume all by himself! It was so cute. I bought that raccoon costume for $5 at a consignment sale. Mini-Me, well, what can I say? At least she didn’t want the Naughty Nurse costume (yet).

But my favorite picture from last year:

Hottest. Charlie Brown. Evah.

I mean really. What a good sport! He totally let me paint that squiggle on his big bald head. I sure do love that man.

Sadly, we went to a family-friendly costume party where we ended up being the only adults in costume. The Gatekeeper is scarred for life, bless his heart. Also, note to self, it’s a good idea to know your audience before attending a costume party. A majority of the guests at this shin-dig were the kind of folks who don’t have cable TV. (On purpose.) (I know!) So most of them didn’t know who Flo was. I kept getting asked if I just got off work. Pearls to swine, I say.

So here we are, Halloween 2011.

What are the kids dressing as this year? Who are we trick-or-treating with? Will The Gatekeeper join in the fun or is he still licking his wounds from last year? Is Iris too mentally ill to bother with a costume? How much alcohol will be involved? Will Nature Boy be permitted to trick-or-treat with his friends and no adult supervision? All these questions and more will be answered tomorrow. 

Come back then for a very special All Saints Day/Halloween Hangover edition of The Bearded Iris: A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All.



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