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Book Week or Halloween Costume Ideas, how we ended up creating our own book and a lesson on thoughtless spending


A child who loves wearing costumes and a thrifty not-so-creative mom. What do you get? His own authored book!

I know it doesn't make sense, right?

Let me explain. I hope you learn a thing or two from our story today.

During book week, the school usually has different activities like D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read) time, "Is there a poem in your pocket?", Reading competition, and book bazaar. Aside from that, there's also dress your favorite book character day.

Last year (well almost every year), I did not want to spend on a new costume. I scanned our book collection and costumes on-hand. Hmmm... What can I re-use or repurpose?

Aha! Fox and Sox!

This was a hand-me-down car racer costume from Tita Rosie. I bought a tail from Daiso, covered it with orange fabric, and attached it as a tail. The cut-out mask from Pinterest was attached to old eyeglasses with no lenses. 

Charaaaan! or Tadaaa as Lucas would say it! 

It was the same costume he wore during an office Halloween party! I just bought a Lightning McQueen hat, a hand-me-down Crocs slippers, and the Lightning McQueen bag as candy bag.

This year, he is old enough and has learned the art of complaining.  Or maybe he's just vain enough to want to decide what he wants to look like. Okay, let's just say he's smart and have an opinion on things. 😅

When I asked him what his costume will be, he said, "I want to wear my Superman costume!"

In my head, I'm like, "What? The same Superman costume?"

It was a hand-me-down again from his Kuya. He wore it since he was 2 years old (way too big then, just right today). He also wore it several times after, including his birthday video, and just about anytime he wants to wear a costume.

Also, I know that last year, one of his classmates wore a more expensive Superman costume. With bulging muscles (just how Lucas wants it too). What if the kid wears it again this year?!

It will be like the time his Ninong Jun2x looked like a zombie next to a more elaborate Joker costume of his Ninong Bibo. Darn! No picture! 😆

So I said, "There is no book about Superman. Have you ever read a book about Superman?"

I left out the fact that there is a comic book.

I was surprised when he answered, "Eh di let's create one!"

Oh my gosh! I can't tell you how proud I am when he said that. At 6 years old he thought of writing his own book. Not only that, the way he said it made the situation simple. He even used the word "eh di!"

A Tagalog word which in this instance meant "That's not a problem! It's so simple!"

And because I was so proud I emailed the teacher about it... hehehe! And voila! He's very first authored book through an app called Book Creator:

The rest of the costumes he has were given by his grandma annd were bought in Pasig Palengke. 😅

About the App: Downloading it is free but you can only create one book. It is so easy to use and can be shared as a book or video. You can record a video for animation, or your own voice. Siri can also read the book so in case you want to teach specific letter words, you can create a story matching your children's interests, Siri can read it aloud.  It's a good investment too so I'm contemplating on buying it. It's only $6. Too bad that it is only for Apple. If you're using Android, just type "book creator app". Lots of other free apps!

The following day, I still contemplated. Gosh! What an internal struggle it was!

To buy or not to buy? That is the question...

I browsed through Amazon...

"There's still 3 days before the costume parade."

"Should I buy a ninja costume?"

"It's only $15..."

Then I realized, it doesn't matter how much it is. What matters is, what message am I giving him? Buying a new costume when he did not even ask for it. I will start a pattern for sure. Next year he will probably ask for a new costume.  Or maybe he'll ask for one just because he wants to.

I know it will happen eventually. He will grow up and would want to buy things he thinks he needs. I know by then I would most likely give in.  New costume? New shoes? New gadgets?

How privilege are these kids now, di ba?

When I was a child my brother's girlfriend asked me what gift I want. I was to shy to say anything. She said, "How about Barbie doll?"

In my mind I wanted it! I don't have a Barbie doll! Then she said, "How about Barbie clothes?" I said yes shyly.

She ended up giving me barbie clothes... with no barbie! 😭

Back to present time...

For now, he's not demanding anything yet.  I don't want to start a behavior pattern that might come back at me later on!

As they say, "Children will follow your example, not your advice."  They can see us - how we spend money. When what we really want to show is how we save money. It's pretty hard to show, isn't it? Except through a piggy bank maybe.

That is why I love this quote by Henry Ford:

“We teach children to save money. As an attempt to counteract thoughtless and selfish expenditure, that has value. But it is not positive; it does not lead the child into the safe and useful avenues of self-expression or self-expenditure. To teach a child to invest and use is better than to teach him to save.”

It makes sense, di ba? We should show them how to spend money thoughtfully. To spend it on whats matter most.  Like an investment - where we will reap benefits someday or for a long time.

Costumes and toys? Yes, it's helpful. But only up to a certain extent. Let's not overdo it.

Anyway, back to costumes! Here are our past photos to show you what I'm talking about.

I HAD to buy this "Bergens" costume for a "Moving Up performance in a preschool he was enrolled in for two months. It was required and for Php2,600!!!

The next year, at a different school, I re-used it as a cat costume (without the green part) when he performed "The 3 little kittens." I just can't find a photo of that. Then the next year, he performed "The Elf and the Doormouse (in this photo), for the boots I used Christmas stockings hehe! As a bonus, he won 4th place! We were about to leave when we heard it. We did not expect he'd win. I think sulit na ang Php2,600 😅

This one is a regular shirt and leggings DIY. I just printed the logo and tied blue ribbon as wrist bands. 

This costume was the only one I purchased and only because we had a gift certificate that was about to expire!

And because he was so cute he won Best Costume in our community Halloween party! We won SM gift certificates and chocolates!

He wore it again at the school party. His cousin Gabe wore it too at a school party. Do you want to borrow it? Hehe!

Sometimes he would have an idea for a costume and I will just follow through. Like this one. He was the one who instructed me to cut these.

I think I said too much, what I would really like to say is:

1. Let's be mindful even on the little things we spend our money on. Children won't believe us when we say we have no money if they keep on seeing us buy things. Instead of sweating out trying to teach them how to save money. Let's show teach them how to spend money wisely. 😉

2. Let's be creative and for sure they will pick it out too. I'm not artistic but I've always been resourceful.

3. Lastly, in all our actions, let's think about the message we want to come across.

Ang hirap ano? Let's try our best mga momsh. Ako ay sadyang kuripot talaga. Hehe!

Kayo? How many times did you wear your costumes?

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