I always thought my mom was kind of lazy and distracted -- I mean, NOW I understand all the responsibilities she had with three kids and all the stuff she kicked ass and took care of, but when I was little all I saw was her sitting on the couch watching One Life to Live while my brothers broke windows with hockey pucks and I amused myself in the kitchen eating vanilla ice cream sprinkled with chocolate Nestle's Quik powder until I threw up.
One of my mom's tricks that I've successfully incorporated into my repertoire is to wait five minutes after the kid asks you for something before actually getting up to do it, hoping that in the interim kid will forget what kid asked for and you can continue watching Six Feet Under reruns.
I demonstrated this technique by taking Jackson to buy a nonreturnable ninja costume for Halloween but not having him try it on until he got home, where we found that the torso was so short from shoulder to crotch that it rendered him a hunchback and carved his wee nutsack in twain.
But I had a whole month to ignore the problem and so, thinking that it would somehow solve itself -- thinking perhaps that a five-year-old would shrink for my convenience -- I went back to doing whatever it is I do with my life. Until yesterday, the morning of October 31, when I was getting Jackson dressed for school and found his wee nutsack was still being cleaved like something cloven by the tiny ninja outfit.
Then I said, Hey! I know! I'll just cut a hole in your crotch and put some black underpants on you. No one will ever see! And your nutsack will bulge freely out of your costume, which will make your cry and not want to get out of the car when we get to school.
So Jackson put on his regular clothes in the back seat, and he actually seemed kind of relieved that he wouldn't have to spend his life getting over that time in kindergarten when his mother made him wear his scrotum on the outside of his Halloween costume.
Jack quickly dispatched himself back to the now-nearly-empty costume store to comb through the remaining goods, and look what he found!
Worth every penny.
And so everyone trick-or-treated until their pillowcases popped, and I have promised myself that next year I will order my October priorities so that my child will not suffer last-minute genital humiliation.