Recently I commented on another blog that I am not so much a costume person. The Martha Stewart of dress-up, I am not. Pleasant Suburban Elementary has this thing. It's a "Living History Museum" made up of eight-year-olds spouting well-rehearsed speeches dressed up as their historical figures while standing in front of a hand-drawn, colored, painted, etc. backdrop of paper in the cafetorium.
Our eldest child was Abe Lincoln (or an Amish guy) at another school's version of this shindig that was all about U.S. Presidents. He even had a Mini-Me Abe made from a Pringles can. Those cans and costumes were what one would reasonably expect from elementary aged children. This was not the case when Middle Child was Tara Lipinski (No, I do not know what qualifies Tara Lipinski as a historical figure over other individuals. And that is hardly the point anyway.) She was very upset when her parents refused to purchase an ice-skating dress and real ice skates for her use as a living Ice Skating Barbie. We put together a home-made costume that was fairly cute, and it served it's purpose as an illustration for her well-researched and well-delivered speech about the modern marvel of a real-life ice princess. We're experienced parents, and it's not like this is rocket science.
Except that Youngest Daughter is Sacagawea. And we discovered after making Middle Child's simple costume that apparently all the other parents at the girls' school actually do buy or make crazy, fancy, detailed costumes for this thing. The feelings of our daughter, and of her parents (if I am entirely honest) as we walked through the room filled with childish exhibitionism, is probably akin to that of a poor relative at a Kennedy family reunion. Still, I suggested that Youngest Daughter could have a costume made from grocery sacks according to the time-honored tradition of childhood "indian costumes". And we can make a doozy of a costume from grocery bags, thank-you-very-much.
Except the child turned my offer down flat. And her Daddy said that I could probably make her a costume without it being a complete nightmare. I asked him if he understood just how expensive it would be to make such a costume as the theoretically simple design he was suggesting. I fumed, and he was quiet. The daughter kept supplying hopefulness and hugs.
I agreed to check around, and even phoned a friend whose daughter had an amazing indian princess costume a few years ago for Halloween. Of course, the daughter no longer has her one-time costume. So I will be headed off to shop for the makings of a Sacagawea dress and borrowing a friend's sewing machine to produce a passable indian dress.