costume-making with sheldon cooper


A melange of socks on the floor. Luckily all are accounted for. Notice the charming “balling.” Makes laundry day that much more special!

Does a sock going missing make you want to weep? No? Guess what? It makes me want to weep. Seriously. If I don’t keep track of the socks who will? I can tell you—NO ONE around here. And then what?


So, Halloween costumes—fun, right?


My daughters have new princess dresses my mom made for them. Really puffy and frilly and hot pink with purple accents. It hits all the little girl marks. But even if they didn’t have these lovely frocks, they are the easy ones. I could get them almost anything and they would be thrilled. Doesn’t have to be perfect, just needs to be pink or purple. Could be ripped, could be too small, too big, could be filthy. It’s all good. “We don’t care!” they say. Not in a sassy obnoxious way—in an omigod it’s purple and pink and ruffly and rainbows and sparkly and Hello Kitty and mermaids and unicorns! way. They simply focus on all the good parts. I would really like to be in their heads for a little while. I’ll bet it’s like Disney-flavored wine in there. I could just lie down and rest for a spell. So needless to say they are perfectly thrilled with any costume. As long as it’s pink or purple or somehow incorporates a rainbow, a pony or a puppy. A princess pony renders them pretty much unconsciousness with joy.

My son is not so much like this.

His personality and temperament are similar to Sheldon Cooper’s. He is utterly literal, largely inflexible, geniusly smart. (Is “geniusly” a word? Spell check says NO.) He’s also equally sweet and so very good at the core. But as you might imagine, costume-making with this personality type is... well, whatever word is the absolute opposite of “fun.”

He originally wanted to be Ike from Super Smash Bros, a game he used to play (only on Fridays!) with the little boy next door. Take a peek at the picture and then note that Ike has a relatively complex outfit. Also blue hair. Also sort of a mullet. Also he is not actually a person. My son does not have blue hair or a mullet. This was our first issue. (Also he is an actual person.) I talked him off that ledge by suggesting the use of blue hair spray and stiff gel. Not that I had any real confidence those would work—I just said it would and hoped for the best. Next problem arose when the different parts of the costume were not exact. The shirt was a little too big, the boots were just not the same. I got a blue shirt at the thrift store and painted the edges with yellow paint and I thought it looked pretty good. He said the color was “94% exact.” But he meant it in a nice way. He worried off and on that this was not going to be the Ike costume of his dreams.

I am crafty, but clearly I was in over my head. I suggested we hit Target. And thank all divine beings, he agreed.

Several stores later, he decided on a red ninja. There were a number of ninja costumes from which to choose. This was the winner as it is a “complete” ninja costume and therefore ranks higher than the others. (We—meaning he chatting endlessly and me nodding meaningfully and thoughtfully—deliberated over this in the aisle for a good 45 minutes.) He was really happy. As was I. (Also the store has an unlimited return policy on Halloween costumes. I checked.)


In spite of his quirks (or perhaps because of them), I love my little Sheldon. He makes everything more interesting. (And overly complex). At the end of almost every day, he tells me I’m the best mom ever—in spite of all MY quirks. I think that’s what we have to do—love our people, thorns and all. Focus on the blooms, actually, because we’re all aware of our own thorns and I think the world would be a better, happier place if we illuminated the prettier, gentler parts of each other.

I would go costume-shopping any time with this kid. I’m pretty lucky. He’s the best boy ever.


(By the way, the hood on the ninja costume is a little too short, it points up at the top too much, the red mask should be wider so it doesn’t pop out of the hood so much, the boots are too long (and NO we CANNOT put some rags in the toes to make them tighter), the tag is itchy—why do they have to make tags so ITCHY?—(I cut it out so was a hero for a few minutes), the red vest doesn’t stay-put on the shoulders enough, the red string on the sword wiggles around and doesn’t stay right on the handles. Aside from all that, it’s perfect.)