So I admit to feeling stymied by my former success: last year’s Halloween. 

I can’t take credit for it either. Normally, I’m not a big believer in dreams, but last October I dreamt that a friend was pregnant. I didn’t meant to tell her about the dream—had a conversation with myself where I promised I wouldn’t—but as soon as I saw her I characteristically blurted it out. “Don’t tell anyone,” she said. “I’m eight weeks.”

That’s how I knew my dreams were serious business; not to be cast aside. And so when I dreamt that for Halloween we would show up as the First Transcontinental Railroad, I was afraid of what would happen if we didn’t at least try. I would be the Central Pacific line. Levi would be the Union Pacific line. And our sweet little Adelaide would celebrate her first Halloween as the Golden Spike.

In the words of my friend Autumn, “Good grief. Most people go their whole lives without getting to be the golden spike.”

While she only got second (we should have gone with gold lame) in the costume contest (deserved, you can’t blame anyone who voted for these guys), I considered it a grand success. And now, when my friends ask what she’s going to be for Halloween this year, they also say something like, “It’s going to be tough to beat last year.”

Don’t I know it.

I’m having a terrible time trying to live up to my principles of costuming. We thought about dressing her as a chicken nugget (Levi would be Ronald McDonald and I would be the chicken), but I can’t stand the thought of her looking at Halloween pictures of her and her cousins in ten years and wanting to know why she looked like a piece of breaded styrofoam. 

I thumbed through a World History textbook, and while at first I thought dressing her as Lucy would be clever, Levi pointed out the hypocrisy. Isn’t that sort of like just dressing her as a skeleton?  (I’m opposed to dressing toddlers as the things that scare them.) The Russian Revolution was problematic for two reasons. 1.) too depressing and 2.) no one knows it happened.

I looked to current events. Balloon Boy is out—I sense it will be ubiquitous. But how about attic-boy? We could put a sign on her that reads: The Rest of the Story.  Too complicated. Try as I might, I couldn’t come up with a clever way to make her look like Healthcare reform, and dressing her as Nancy Pelosi feels weird.

I went to bed early in hopes of another dream last night. But the only thing that came to me when I woke up was dressing her as a bottle of Proactiv to accompany this morning’s pimple. 

We’ve got three days for you to come up with something, or for me to have another dream.

If that doesn’t work, she ’ll likely end up going as a princess. Of course, we’ll say we did it ironically…