I love encouraging our kids to use their imaginations. I love watching them dress up in costumes and act out scenes from books, movies or just random things they have come up with. We have an extensive collection of costumes for them and on any given day you could walk into my house and see them all in some kind of get up. But this habit has lead to some interesting and hilarious situations over the years.
We went through the six month stretch of Dude dressing like a pirate, everyday ... for school, church, going to the mall, whatever. Mischief’s collection of superhero costumes is the envy of most 6 year old boys and he isn't shy of wearing a caper whenever the mood hits him. And let's not forget the time that two year old Crafty came out of her bedroom with wearing nothing but a diaper and a receiving blanket wrapped around her head and declare, "Holy Smokes, I'm Jesus!"
Their imaginations are fertile plains and the stuff they come up with kills me sometimes but it also causes the less imaginative people in our world to pause and wonder. Living in a new community, meeting new people, has made me a little more cautious about when and where they are allowed to 'go out in drag.' Since we've moved, we have left the costumes at home for the most part when we've been out running errands ... for the most part.
A week or so ago the kids were home on a PD day and had spent the morning dressed up and playing. When I announced that we had to go the the grocery store Crafty quickly went and changed and Mischief (dressed in his Wolf Suit) ran to the door and slipped his feet into his boots. I asked him if he really was going to out out like that and he just 'gnashed his terrible teeth, rolled his terrible eyes and showed his terrible claws' - I took that as a yes and loaded everyone into the van.
As we were strolling through the grocery store we were the recipients of many sideways glances and double takes. I just kept my eyes forward and kept on shopping but as we turned into the bakery section Mischief made sure that I couldn't ignore the bushy tailed beast that he was anymore.
An elderly woman bent down and said, "So who are you, dear?"
Mischief jumped back with a roar, showing his claws and teeth in a most ferocious way, "I am the most wild thing of all and I'll eat you up!"
The poor woman nearly toppled over with shock and I had more than a moment's pause wondering if her heart was strong enough to handle this encounter. I apologised profusely, tossed The Wild Thing into the cart and quickly made my way to the check out ... with Mischief 'howling at the moon' the whole way.
So needless to say ... I've been grocery shopping in the next town over since then! ;-)