I might have given the whole costume problem more thought had my husband not been working 13-hour days for the last two months. Or more likely not. I have a bag of costumes and accessories, and usually the kids can come up with something from there.
My 5yo needed a costume for the gan party (another reason I’m glad my 3yo isn’t in gan–she wore each of half a dozen costumes for 30 seconds each). My son’s ganenet, probably the most creative and organized ganenet you could ever meet and that’s saying a lot, has had the children coming home in costume every day for the last two weeks. One day they were all cats, the next day bakers, and the next “tigrisim.” (I learned that a namer is a leopard, not a tiger.) My son had suggested several different costume ideas for the party and finally settled on an Indian. We already had a feathered headband from gan (and a second one in my costume bag). The night before the party, I discussed with him what else he was going to wear. I suggested he wear one of his father’s undershirts with a belt or scarf, but he insisted that all he wanted was the headband and face paint. For him that meant a few stripes of different colors (I also keep face makeup on hand). I patiently explained (or rather warned) that the other children would be wearing more elaborate costumes. He decided on a regular pair of pants and a sweater with a colorful design. He did not look dressed up.
After I sent him off to gan Friday with his father, I wondered what “grade” I would give myself as a mother for that episode. A “C” for not preparing a costume with him that he would really love? Or an “A” for going with the flow and acknowledging that the costume he chose satisfied him? With bonus points for recognizing that expending unnecessary time and energy on a project that inspired neither of us, thereby neglecting the rest of the family (and myself) during a stressful period, was the unwise choice?
When I went to pick him up. I told the ganenet that he hadn’t wanted more of a costume than that (still needing to justify it), and asked whether he acted disappointed. She said he seemed fine and participated. “Hayiti hamumah,” she admitted, meaning she was jaw-droppingly amazed. She said that she has plenty of costumes in the gan (you don’t say) to offer him had he shown any signs of distress.
I’ll skip the rant about how gananot believe that children’s happiness revolves around Purim, birthday presents, and junk food. And about my belief that if he had cried or someone made fun of him, we could discuss it so he could grow from the experience.
If I really graded my parenting during recent weeks, I would accrue a few low marks during those long, hectic evenings. But I do get an A for Purim costumes. Well, maybe an A minus.