Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

D’onjoaquin Hated Halloween

Remembering the satisfaction I got from making Joaquin’s pirate costume last year, it was kind of implied that this Halloween he would wear a mommy-made costume again. So after a short talk with Joey, we decided that the only requirement for this year’s character would be to include a mustache, just because we loved last year’s mustache so much… My friend Kim came up with the perfect suggestion, and from that moment on I began my research:

musketeer images I used as inspiration

My plan was to make a “historically accurate” musketeer tunic (i.e. royal blue with silver outline, perfect cross appliqué, side panels with their respective silver outlines and crosses), boot spats, a sword, and hack a white onesie to apply puffy sleeves and the fru-fru musketeer collar. But as I started working on the project, plans changed… partly because of laziness, partly because the hacked onesie idea was flawed, and partly in an attempt to avoid elements that might make Joaquin hate and reject the costume. And so, I ended up eliminating the side panels of the tunic, and sewing a real shirt with the collar I envisioned, and bell-shaped sleeves instead of puffy.

Handmade musketeer costume by Maria Stultz, mafemaria™

Now, of course we needed some kind of event where Joaquin could show off my — I mean, his — costume. An so, although we don’t go to the Little Gym any more (because Joaquin’s crying and yelling and turning–into–a–devil every class we attended during the last week of the semester, made it perfectly clear that he did not want to go there any more), I bought guest tickets to their Halloween party.

And the day came, and we all got ready to attend the Little Gym Halloween party. And although Don Joaquin didn’t cooperate for a second with the drawing of the mustache, he was more than happy to get on the car. But as we approached the site of the party, still inside the car, Joaquin was able to see the Little Gym sign — the “flag of terror” — and he recognized were we were headed, and OH! The terrible twos began…

Handmade musketeer costume by Maria Stultz, mafemaria™

So after 30 minutes of fierce musketeer battle, we decided to stop torturing D’onjoaquin, who would not shut up or let go of daddy until we were all packed up in the car, ready to leave the place and never come back.

We took him to the park, and I was finally able to get some photos sans–tears.

Handmade musketeer costume by Maria Stultz, mafemaria™

A week later, it was Halloween for real!… Once more, we got the bollo on his costume, except, this time I had no energy to fight the drawing of a second mustache on that fussy trompa. We went out trick–or–treating to quickly find out Joaquin’s feelings about this new tradition invading his life…

Every single time someone opened his door and DARED to deposit candy on Joaquin’s pumpkin, the little musketeer HATED his life and made a scene I’m not sure most homeowners were prepared to deal with. As Joey wisely put it: For Joaquin, Halloween ruins a perfect walk. Needless to say, we didn’t collect a whole lot of candy.

Nevertheless, I was happy to document my baby’s first time trick–or–treating. I’ll be sure to play this many times to torment him in the future.

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  1. On , KSR wrote:

    The costume is beautiful! Keep it because someday Don Joaquin will have a little bollo of his own and this will be a treasure…….Little ones are so funny…each has his/her own emerging personality and likes/dislikes…..the great thing is that Mom and Dad are flexible to make the most of it and adapt as dictated by the needs of Joaquin….don’t take it personally……next year may be better……..;-) AWESOME costume!

  2. On , Maria wrote:

    Thank you Kim!
    I was toying with the idea of selling the costume next Halloween, except I couldn’t include the boot spats in the package, because of the zipper and snap components that I would have to test for the CPSIA lead ban. And I couldn’t sell the swords either because who knows what Federal child safety rules they break.

    So I thought I’d sell the tunic and shirt, except, I made the shirt a little too tight around the arms, and getting it on a toddler is kind of a torture. I did it to my son TWICE, but I wouldn’t expect others doing it and paying me for it.

    So I thought I’d sell the tunic, except, when I took it off Joaquin last time, I realized that somehow something snagged the bottom ribbon on the front, and I would have to fix that in order to sell it, and I’m not sure I’m gonna want to do that now or in a year.

    So I guess we’re keeping the whole costume it in the storage box, along with all other clothes Kiki can’t wear any more. HA! HA!

  3. On , Vivienne wrote:

    Haha! At least he WORE his costume. Gorgeous work – how did you make those boots??

    L. refused to wear either of the two costumes we had for him, so I just put him in a Halloween-themed shirt. Maybe the costumes will still fit next year!

  4. On , Maria wrote:

    Thank you Vivienne!

    For the boots, I sewed a boot–shaped “shell” that would go over his normal shoes, with a piece of elastic keeping it securely attached to the bottom of the shoes. That’s what I’ve seen done in adult costumes, and later I learned that the actual name for it is “spats” (you know… still learning English), and it turns out that they’re currently all the rage in women fashion… Do a web search for spats, and you’ll find some really beautiful and intricate accessories for your shoes. I’m even considering making some for me as an experiment.

    What costumes did you have for L? That little bug!!!… How old is he now?