I was trying to decide what to dress The Toots up as for Halloween this year and it got me thinking about her last six Halloweens.
Her first Halloween is seared into my memory as if it were burned in by a branding iron. And for all the wrong reasons.
At the time I had not yet been diagnosed with a thyroid problem or cancer. I only knew that I was in a lot of pain and was so tired all the time. I was trying my best to be a good mommy and had the kid's costumes all ready to go and was even acting as if I couldn't wait to go out trick or treating.
Late that afternoon my sister-in-law stopped by with a friend to visit. As I was sitting, holding Tessie in my arms (she was about four months old) I got the strangest feelings in my body. First my feet got all hot and tingly, then my face and then my heart started to beat really fast. I thought I was going to pass out. But me, being me, I pretended like nothing was wrong and simply had Blake take Tessie and said I had to use the bathroom. I pulled myself together enough to get through the visit (I should get an Oscar for that performance) and after they left I went down to my room and called my mom. She came right over and told me I was having a panic attack.It was horrible. If you are lucky enough to never have had one then, as the saying goes, you are lucky enough.
Anyway, my mom helped the kids get dressed up as I waited for the medication that the doctor had given me to work. We told the kids that I had a bad headache so that they wouldn't be scared that I was laying in bed. Finally, the meds did their job and I felt like I could actually function and take the kids out for trick or treat. It was such an awful night for me but my kids never knew it and that's what counts. The Toots went as a little pumpkin and was adorable.
I learned later that my thyroid being so out of whack was what had caused (and still does to this day on occasion)such a bad panic attack. I also have learned, that once those nasty little attacks get a foothold on your psyche, they do not leave easily. Stress is not a friend to panic attacks either. I used to be embarrassed at what I thought was a weakness but now I know that neither weakness, nor strength, have anything to do with it.
Anyway, by the next Halloween I had had my first surgery (the second surgery came six months later and removed another 15 lymph-nodes) to remove my cancerous thyroid along with fifteen lymph-nodes. And I was feeling quite a bit better mentally thank god.
I decided to dress The Toots up as her favorite little stuffed toy, Ghostie. This was a little stuffed ghost that Ali had given to her the previous Halloween and Tessie loved it. We took it everywhere and anywhere she went. It soothed all of her problems. I thought it was an odd thing to be so attached to because it was literally just a five or six inch stuffed ghost. Then again, I have never professed to understand much of what The Toots deems awesome and why. At any rate, Gram made the costume and again, adorable.
Halloween 2005 saw Tessie as Raggedy Ann. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a pretty good sense of humor that can lean a bit toward the sick side every now and again. The reason I dressed her up as Raggedy Ann was because by this point we were full into the 'special needs' process and had been diagnosed with "Global Developmental Delay with Hypontia". Hypotonia is a fancy word for low muscle tone and was known as the 'Rag doll syndrome' because of how limp these kids bodies were. Hence, dressing her up as the world's most famous rag doll. Sick, I know. But I still chuckle about it. And, yes, she was adorable.
2006 Tessie was a chicken. We are talking feathers and all. My inspiration? Her thin little chicken legs. In a word; adorable.
2007 I dressed Tessie up as a doctor complete with scrubs, cap, lab coat, mask, and stethoscope. Can you guess why? Again, just trying to find the humor anywhere that I could and she was just so damn cute all dressed up like that.
By 2008 it was getting really hard, and if you will excuse the pun, tricky, getting Tessie in and out of the car in a full on costume. She was getting big and lugging her in and out of the car repeatedly took it's toll on my hubby and me. We would start bickering about where we were going to take her. It was very exhausting, plus, she couldn't eat any of the candy and on top of that, anyone who did not know her really well would comment on how "shy" or "tired" she must be because her head would be down and daddy was carrying her. Trying to explain to someone that she was disabled was awkward for everyone to say the least. We decided that this would be the last year we would take her around trick or treating. I dressed her up as an Angel for obvious reasons. She is a little Angel.
Last year I dressed her up as her most favorite character in all the world. No, not Spongebob, his 'frenemy', Plankton. I found a home made costume on Ebay and it was awesome. She thought she was just great in that costume. It was so cute to watch her when we showed her herself in the mirror. And I came up with, what I still think is an ingenious solution to the trick or treating dilemma. I take her to my dad and Ann's in costume to help hand out candy to all the kids that come. And because my stepmom is a teacher, they get quite a few kids for Tessie to see. So she still gets to dress up and go out and see other people, it is just in one place. It works for us and eases my guilt about not taking her door to door.
This year she will be a witch. What can I say? I got lazy.