“He Don’t Eat No Meat?”

[I can’t take credit for the Salad is Murder thing – it was a postcard I purchased years ago in San Rafael. Unfortunately I can’t dig it up anywhere, so had to recreate it. Apologies to the original artist. Hers is WAY better.]

[Insert movie still from My Big Fat Greek Wedding here. Copyright paranoia, c’est moi.]

We eat meat. Not a whole bunch. Maybe two meals involve meat each week. We get a lot of protein from tofu, cheese, beans, and eggs. As a result, Z has never really had to think about where meat comes from, and we never really told her. “Hey kid, by the way, that’s Chicken Little you’re gobbling up right now.” Or, “Remember the cows in ‘Click Clack Moo’? Yum! That’ll teach ’em to go on strike!” Or, “Yup, that Olivia is a darling, and she makes FINE bacon!”

Not really the conversation we’ve been eager to have.

So the other day, we’re at the table, and I’m eating my DELICIOUS HAM AND CHEESE CROISSANT OH MY GOSH MUST GO BACK FOR MORE and somehow, it comes up. Meat. That it comes from animals.

And Z just giggling, and saying, “That isn’t right, that isn’t right!” and she means that we’re joking, we must be, because who would eat those cute little animals?

Well, we do, I guess. I’ve toyed with the idea of going vegetarian, or maybe restricting my meat consumption to fish. But nothing’s pushed me all the way in that direction…yet. Maybe Z will be the one to do it. (Fish as food doesn’t seem to bother Z at all – she has a Finding Nemo toy that did not make it into her stuffed friends drawer but went, instead, to her pretend food bin).

Because who wants to eat Olivia?! (Well, if Olivia’s in my ham and cheese croissant, the answer is: I do.)

One Fish, Two Fish, Blue-fish, Blue-fish, Blue-fish

In which the Ever-Suffering Mother gets crafty.

Last year's Red-winged Blackbird costume. I'm smiling 'cause the sewing is OVER.

This Halloween, Z is old enough to choose what she wants to be. Her first Halloween she wasn’t even three months old, so I got to decide (butterfly). Second Halloween,  I got to decide (Red-winged Blackbird). Third Halloween: she wants to be a fish (not what I would have chosen).

"Baby" as model.

So here’s how I made a very easy fish costume. Some assembly required. But no sewing.

Step One: Find a babysitter. You do NOT want to take your two-year-old into Jo-Ann’s Fabrics. Bad idea.

Step Two: Head to a craft and fabric store to gather materials needed. You will need:

  • 2 pieces of poster board. I chose blue because she wants to be a blue fish, but it doesn’t really matter.
  • fabric. Two yards total would have been fine for my two-year-old. I went overboard, buying four different shades of blue, some with bling, some shiny. It depends on what you want for the end result. One yard should be your “base” for the fish, so when scales don’t match up right, you don’t have poster board showing through. Note: I think I got extra mileage from my “yard” because the fabric is sheer and was doubled up.
  • 2 9X12-inch foam sheets (the ones I bought are 2 mm thick)
  • dark blue ribbon
  • spray glue
  • strong masking tape
  • a lot of hope
  • prayer won’t hurt

Step Three: Cut a toddler-sized fish shape (minus fins – so basically an oval) from both pieces of poster board (just grit your teeth and eyeball it, then cut away). I used Z to measure how long to make the ovals.

Step Four: Cut out the fins for the bottom. Z’s fins are one foot wide.

Step Five: Cut two ovals from your large piece of base fabric to roughly match size of poster board ovals

Step Six: Cut out lots and lots of “scales” from the fabric. I was not exact on this, and I think the more size/shape variation you have for the scales, the cooler it will look. The scales I cut were anywhere from 5 inches long to 6.5 inches long, and between 3 and 4 inches wide.

Step Seven: Using the spray glue, glue the base fabric onto the poster board. If it’s wrinkly, don’t worry, it’ll barely show after the scales are on. Trim off excess fabric.

Step Eight: Use masking tape to attach the fins to the bottom (tape them to the reverse side of the poster board so the tape doesn’t show).

Step Nine: (the fun part!) Glue on the scales. I started at the bottom and used spray glue. I glued the bottom row first, then moved up to the next row, trying to vary the ways the scales overlapped within rows. I don’t think it really matters.

Step Ten: Using whatever genius is left over in your craft-fried brain, figure out a way to attach the two pieces of poster board to make a front and back of the fish. I used ribbon (fixing it in place with extra masking tape), but I will probably change this before the Big Day, because I don’t think ribbon is strong enough to withstand a toddler running around. I might use leftover scraps from the poster board (and more masking tape. Love masking tape).

I am not worrying about extra fins or anything. The scales and tail fins peg it as a fish. I only lost one night of writing by working on it, and Z LOVES it, so I’m a happy mom.

Z modeling her costume at school