02 March 2011

First of all, can I just say that I tried? I really, really tried.

And some times, I fail.

This was one of those occasions.

Fail #1: I was cleaning off my kitchen counter last night and found a reminder from Oliver's preschool teacher that Wednesday March 2nd is Dr. Seuss day. "Don't forget to wear a silly costume!" Crap. It's 8pm and Ryan was out of the house and I was fixing to have some relaxing solo time. Crap crap crap. (except that my Mom still won't let me say that word. sorry, Mom!)

Okay, brainstorm time.

Truthfully, a red and white striped hat or a "Thing 1" costume felt too obvious. (though in retrospect, "obvious" also has the merits of "safe" and "tried and true" and "foolproof") I should have gone with the red and white striped hat or ironing text onto a red sweatshirt. Why must I insist on thinking outside of the box?! Blerg.

So, Oliver gets home from play practice (he's going to be John Thomas in my sister's high school production of The Curious Savage this weekend!) and as I'm getting him dressed in his pj's we look through his stack of Dr. Seuss books, hunting for a good idea.

And then I see it. 10 Apples Up On Top!


He loves that book! And really, it's the perfect mix of creative and cop-out!


All I have to do is make a few felt apples and jimmy-rig them to stay on his head. Should be a breeze! I may get my solo time after all! I am seriously so stinkin' clever! Fail #2.

So, I tuck him into bed and get to work finding a good felt apple tutorial online. I settle on this one because it has a printable pattern and I only tweak it a bit because the apples seemed a little on the small side. (If you're keeping track, that would be Fail #3. Keep the apples small! Why must I mess with things?)

The actual apple construction really went very smoothly. In fact, I was feeling so good about everything, I went ahead and made four large apples to sit atop my child's head whilst learning his ABC's at school the next day. Because, you know, 4-year-olds are really good at sitting very still.

I even decided to make it look more realistic by stacking the apples all wonky so it would look like they were toppling. Ahem. Fail #4.

So, about an hour, a bunch of reinforcement stitches, a little felt glue and one of Hazel's headbands later, I emerged from my crafting victorious! Four apples high! This is going to be great! He's going to be the only kid in his class with apples on his head!


Oh, how the prideful do stumble.

This morning after breakfast I presented my little guy with his Dr. Seuss costume for the day and he loved it at first. Then he put it on. And let me tell you, there was great weeping in the land.
Oh, it was not good.

For all the glue and stitching and securing and guaranteeing I did to ensure that this marvel of physics would indeed stand up straight, it could not hold up to the floppiness that is my child. The more he flipped, the more it flopped. (If Dr. Seuss were still alive, I feel like this could be excellent material for his next book...)

Well there was no time to whip up a striped cat hat, so we had to work with what we had. Ryan suggested taking an apple off the top.

Clearly he wasn't aware of the ridiculous amounts of felt glue involved in my masterpiece.

But, he was right. At least one apple had to go. Maybe two, but we decided to start with one. I started cutting and undoing all the hard work I'd done the night before. There was no way the glue was going to come undone - it was just going to have to look a little funny.

And after all that, three was still too many. We were both starting to feel a little panicky as we were clearly beginning to loose Oliver.

I tried to tell him that they were supposed to be floppy - just like in the book. The Tiger and Dog and Lion were trying so hard through the whole book to keep their apples up on top and at the end they all fell down. It was funny!

I was convincing myself, but he wasn't really buying it.

More cutting.


This time I was actually able to get most of the glue off. My one success. :)


Oliver left the room to get his shoes on while I readied his new, only-two-apples-up-on-top hat. When he came back I was wearing it and it was funny and everyone felt a bit better. Whew.

When he left the house he was still a little less than enthusiastic, but I told him he didn't have to wear it all day, and probably his friends would all want to try it on.


Next time, I'll just go with the striped hat. Or, as my college roommate Christine suggested (she's a genius, by the way), I should have dressed him as normal Oliver, but with a Wocket in his Pocket! Oh Christine, if only I'd seen your message sooner! Let's just go ahead and round things off - we'll call that Fail #5.


Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss! We appreciate all the great books you have written - all the silly giggles, all the "ah-ha!" reading moments and all the drama of trying to turn your wild imagination into real life possibilities. Cheers!

**update: I just got a text from Ryan that said, "Oliver was excited as soon as he saw his shadow with the hat on. He got into class and saw everyone else in their costumes and loosened up. He's happy :)"


Emily said...

Oh no! LOL! Poor little guy did not like that! But way to go it is super cute!

Cecilia said...

Well I'm impressed! I didn't realize that his birthday was celebrated so much, but I've seen several posts from my teacher friends about it. Way to think outside the box!

Bethany said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bethany said...

Oops, if you saw my earlier comment ignore it :) I think you were very creative to think of doing the apples no matter the result!

keight dukes said...

i know how much sweat and frustration and climbing pulse goes into a situation like this so my heart goes out to you big time. but those dang apples on top of that precious crying face crack me UP! i hope you are at the laughing stage of this project. oh man. at least you didnt try to tackle all 10 apples on his one top.

Taylor said...

You are a sweet, sweet mama and I hope you save that apple hat forever for a great laugh in the years to come! ;)

Marisa said...

Oh man...this sounds too familiar. :) Noah's kindergarten class had a big celebration for their one hundredth day of school and each kiddo was suppose to come to class on day 100 wearing a hat with 100 items on it. I was up entirely too late on night 99 hot gluing (read: burning my fingers) 100 old lego bricks to a beanie. I presented Noah with his hat the next morning and got a similar response as Oliver. Fortunately, he came home from school with a smile. :)

Just picked up Ten Apples Up On Top! for the boys this morning in honor of Dr. S's b-day. LOVIN' the two apples on top of Oliver. Way to go, crafty mama!

Anonymous said...

Rae, This made me laugh and laugh. What a wonderful mom you are. Do you remember that you didn't want to wear the skeleton costume I made? Mom

Erin said...

Glad he liked it in the end! After all that work.. you sure are clever!

Alyssa said...

That is one of our favorite books, too! My son has my copy from when I was a kid. Love the idea, too- I just wish it had gone better! Very cute!

Molly @ Me and Madeline said...

I love this post. So much.

And my mom won't let me say crap either. :)

MicheleL said...

You are so awesome!!! Even with only two apples, this thing is amazing!!!

Anonymous said...

Super cute!! But I'm confused because it says that the author of that book is Theo something, not Dr. Seuss.

Raechel said...

To anyone who is confused about the author of the book: Theo LeSeig was the original pen name of Theodore Giesel (LeSieg is Giesel spelled backwards). He eventually changed his pen name to Dr. Seuss. :)

Ashley said...

You are such a good mama. So creative too! My daughter has been obsessed with my husband's old Dr. Seuss books lately, I think it's so cute!

Kristin said...

you are so creative!! way to go!!

Christine said...

Hahahaha! Many fails make for a funny story. You put WAY more effort into than I would have, at least that late in the game. For that, I doff my apple-topped hat to you.

In the future, if I have a genius idea, I'll call you, mkay?

love! munger!

Anonymous said...

That is hilarious!! This story, as well as the photo where he is crying with his tongue out a little bit has got to go in a scrapbook somewhere! :)