A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: halloween costumes

WTF Wednesday: The Very Special Halloween Hangover Edition

{ding dong}

You open the door.

Here’s what you see:

Witch, Orca Whale, Skeleton, Halloween 2011.

Immediately followed by the sound of my little Bucket Head singing:

“Trick-or-Treat! Smell my feet! Give me something good to eat!”

Always a crowd pleaser.

But did you know there is a second verse to this classic holiday greeting?

There is.

It goes like this:

“If you don’t, I don’t care. I’ll pull down your underwear!”


Who on earth taught that to my sweet, innocent, cherub-faced four year old son?

Uh, that would be me.

Sorry, neighbors.

In hindsight, bad idea. Apparently, pulling down other people’s underwear without their consent isn’t very socially acceptable nowadays.

But when I was a kid? Shoot. We called that “getting de-pantsed.” It was a classic bully maneuver. Naturally, I rocked at it. Just ask my little brother.

Something else you may have heard if you trick-or-treated on my street was Bucket Head shouting “I AM NOT A SHART.”

Bless his little speech impaired heart.

What he meant was “I am not a SHARK.”

And I totally feel his pain. Really I do.

What the fuck is wrong with grown-ups today?

People, if you don’t know the difference between an orca whale and a shark, you need to spend less time chatting up little trick-or-treaters and more time watching Animal Planet.

We're going to need a bigger boat.

I can’t even tell you how many adults told my Bucket Head, “My, what a scary shark you are!” To which he would always reply that he was not a shark, but an orca whale (duh). As the evening progressed, he became more and more frustrated with having to correct so many people.

And listen, the only thing worse than trying to correct an imbecilic adult who doesn’t know their sea creatures is then being laughed at for your mispronunciation by said imbecile. Thanks a lot, neighbors.

But my biggest WTF Halloween moment occurred when one of my kids received this in their treat bag:

Valentine Candy. To: _______, From: Bridget. On Halloween.

Say it with me, friends:




I know what some of you are thinking. It’s kinda brilliant.


That’s jive. (Says the lady who hands out gently used Happy Meal Toys.)

Even though I’m a huge advocate of being green and frugal, giving out personalized Valentine candy treats on Halloween is just plain shitty. That’s like giving out soy sauce packets and used dryer sheets. Don’t be a douche. These kids are working hard to walk all the way to your door and sing the “smell my feet” song. Eight month old off-holiday candy is a TRICK, not a treat. Save it for the un-costumed teenagers who show up after your porch light is off, not the cute little SHART who still says “gank you.”

And now, to answer all those lingering questions.

Did our house get egged?

No! In fact, I observed The Gatekeeper greet the first few trick-or-treaters and whenever he asked them “Would you like candy or a toy?” they always said “A TOY!!!” So there, doubters. Kids love plastic crap. Told you!

Did I dress up?

Yes indeedy. I did. Well, kinda. A hat/wig, lipstick, tattoo sleeves, and a bracelet count, right?

Semi-Biker Chick with her brood.

Good enough. Or as my stapler-wielding Mama says, “Done is better than perfect.” 

We even returned to our hippie friends’ 2nd annual Halloween Party, where once again, I was the only adult in costume. No, The Gatekeeper didn’t come. He did dress up though…as an Ohio State Fan. Whoop-dee-frickin’-doo. He stayed home and watched football and drank beer while I bravely battled my social-anxieties alone at a dry party. Awesome.

Who did we trick-or-treat with this year? 

We trick-or-treated with Mama Cloud and her kids again and it was delightful, as usual. She and I have similar parenting styles and it’s so refreshing to not have to be the lone bad cop all night shrieking things like “DO YOU HAVE A DEATH WISH? THEN GET OUT OF THE MIDDLE OF THE GOD DAMN STREET, Honey.” (Because tacking “Honey” onto any rant makes it not quite so negative, right?)

Did Nature Boy trick-or-treat with his friends and no adult supervision? 

Aw HAYLE NO. He just turned 12. He and his best friend came with me and Mama Cloud and our combined broods. And it was a good thing, too, because he almost peed his pants at the local haunted house…it was that scary. I ended up going through it twice because he was too afraid to come with me and his best friend the first time. Pussy. Kidding. We held hands the whole time, but it was totally dark, so his best friend couldn’t see what a scaredy-cat he was. Too cute.

Was alcohol involved?

What are you, slow? Of course. I had to make up for the withdrawal I was experiencing after the hippie Halloween party.

So that’s that! I hope your Halloween was a happy one too and that you got only treats and no tricks in your goodie bags! And by goodie bags, of course I mean vaginas.

I’m linking up with Sellabit Mum and Fourplusanangel for Boo in the Blogosphere and Nicole at By Word of Mouth Musings because I obviously need to make some new friends.



with kisses and consensual de-pantsing,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved.

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.



© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved.

My Mental Health Journey (Part 1): A Halloween Retrospective

Looking back on old Halloween pictures has me feeling a little nostalgic today. Time sure flies when you’re herding a litter of babies.

I’ve always loved Halloween. Now, as a mother, I love it even more. (Most of the time.) Some years are better than others. It all kind of depends how I’m managing the crazy. 

This was a really good year:

Iris and Nature Boy as A Farmer and her Prize Eggplant, Halloween 2000, Oakland California

That was back in the day when I had only one child. Things were simpler back then. Hard to believe my big hulking 12 year old Nature Boy was ever *that* little (or ticklish).

The next two years are a blur…

Cowboy, Halloween 2001, Winston-Salem, NC

Dinosaur, Halloween 2002, Winston-Salem, NC

We moved from California to North Carolina so I could take a big fancy executive job. It was not what we thought it would be. Less than a year later, I got pregnant with Mini-Me and quit that horrid job. Then we sold our new home at a loss and moved to Georgia. Soon after, I would be diagnosed with clinical depression and post traumatic stress disorder. Good times.

Our first Halloween in suburban North Georgia, I didn’t have a job or any friends yet so I kept busy nursing the baby, sewing things, and crying.

Little Miss Muffet and The Spider, Halloween 2003, Metro Atlanta, Georgia

So proud of his eight legs.

Damn, that was a rough time. Several months later, we lost one of our young nephews to a tragic car crash and my only brother was nearly killed in a freak sledding accident. Most of 2004 is a fog to me.

Yet life goes on.

The older the kids got, the less ambitious I became with their Halloween costumes. Not unrelated, this was around the same time I started developing a taste for wine.

Kitty and Spiderman, October 2004.

Then we got new neighbors who would become our BFFs. The next year was a good year…

Princess and Vampire, Halloween 2005.

So good in fact, that I went and got myself knocked up again like a dumb ass.

And that’s why the following year I was way too tired to do anything but borrow a plushy unicorn costume from a neighbor and rip up some of Nature Boy’s clothes to turn him into a zombie at the 11th hour:

Gestating Iris performs last minute zombification, Halloween 2006.

Zombie and Unicorn, Halloween 2006. The socks kill me.

Not my favorite Halloween. Hard to keep up with the big trick-or-treaters who want to run from house to house when there’s a bowling ball on your bladder. I may or may not have publicly urinated that year. I’ve blocked it out.

So that was our first six Halloweens…some bitter, some sweet, but all part of the journey. Come back tomorrow for Part 2 of My Mental Health Journey: A Halloween Retrospective and see the one and only time my husband dressed in a costume. Spoiler alert – there’s lots of skin. It’s not for the faint of heart.

Stay tuned…


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved.

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