Saturday, 31 October 2015

Happy Hobbitween

OOOOOhhhhh Halloween! The time of year when parents love to dress their mini-mes in cute costumes such as pumpkins, witches, or skeletons. Or something much creepier. I am not loving the supermarket array of zombies and bloodied costumes. Not for us, thanks. I am not the biggest fan of this occasion (apols to my penpal Erin who loves it) as I am a huge scaredy cat. Since the (toffee) apple doesn't fall far from the tree I was not sure if Matt would want to dress up at all but he said he wanted to.

First, he announced he would like to be a witch.  A boy witch. And he picked up a broomstick in the supermarket. But then he announced he wanted be a wizard and would need a magic wand. Grrr I thought as these were £4 more expensive than the brooms. Anyway I had just started to plan what would make a great wizard costume when Matt announced that he did not want to be just any wizard. One of the proudest moments of my life as a mother was to follow. It is up there with the moment the two year old Matt asked me if we could play libraries. It is up there with the moment he successfully recited his My Dad book. Matt announced that this Halloween there is absolutely only one wizard he wanted to be: Gandalf the Grey.

Let's back up here. This summer we made our annual retreat to Scotland. I dreamed of reading some great Scottish books. I thought we would sit beside a loch and read Katie Morag. Or, when the weather changed, we could snuggle in the log cabin reading Six Dinner SidThe reality was rather different. Matt just wanted to play sheep farmer in the woods (it was a gate thing) or watch How to Train Your Dragon 2. Our holiday reading really did not work out how I had planned but it all turned out even better in the long run. Matt may not have been interested in reading but I was completely absorbed by my book and could not help sharing it. By the process of osmosis my book enthusiasm has now produced the greatest Tolkien fan ever- despite him not reading a word. 

It had started briefly with The Hobbit. (Despite the nature of this blog I am often late to the book party.) Matt liked the cover and would ask questions so I started to give him brief chapter updates: Bilbo has a magic ring etc. When I started LOTR,  Matt was most interested to hear what Gandalf was up to and where he lives. He renamed one of his toy horse's Shadowfax. One day at the park, Matt and his cousins set up a Middle Earth game. I loved watching them argue over who was Frodo and who was Bilbo!

I enjoyed The Hobbit but I was completely in Middle Earth with LOTR on holiday in the Highlands.  I had time on my hands to think about the book and the landscape really lent itself to the tale. Every evening I would have a steaming hot bath and catch up with my hobbit friends. Matt would hover, eager to know what was happening. We went to a second book shop and found an old Illustrated World of Tolkien book. We spent ages flicking through it and Matt was genuinely delighted to see pictures of Gandalf. LOTR has really fired his imagination. He cannot wait to be old enough to read it with me. I don't want to rush the time. At all. But the thought of sharing these books with him in a few years fills me with hope and excitement.  By holding off children's books for a week and allowing my love of books to spring forth I have found a different way to invest in Matt's literary future. 

And it has started to pay off with this Halloween. I am as pleased as punch that he has chosen the good and great Gandalf. I am also glad we have made it a fourth year without him dressing up as something grim. I am relieved most of all that he has not asked me to make a Nazgul costume.

So I have spent this week cutting, sewing, glueing, and manipulating three pillowcases into a Gandalf outift. I am not a pinterest mama by any means but the costume works for us. 

The dress rehearsal.

Party One: Despite his initial excitement, Matt refused to wear the beard or hair. 

Party Two: We arranged the hair (ponytail) and beard (off chin) to accommodate the little man's needs. He mounted Shadowfax and became Gandalf...

However, we had not even got through the gate to the party when Matt decided he needed to remove the beard, hair, and hat. Harrumph! Someone thought he had dressed as a Jedi!

Party Three: 
We arrived at the car park and he announced that he just wanted to be Matthew now.
Fine, I said. Really. After all that work? Fine, fine, fine!

It was a fun Hobbitween but let us all remember that Gandalf is for life not just for October. I really need to keep Matt's LOTR enthusiasm going so he can wear the gear again next year. 

However, should I fail in my quest he can always be Obi Wan Kenobi. 

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