W on the Catwalk

I entered W in the costume contest at the local mall this afternoon. I knew the whole "spooktacular" event was from 4-7 but didn't know the logistics of the contest. We arrived around 4:30 since W's nap ran late this afternoon, but that was fine. We registered and were #30 in the 0-3 age group.

We had walked the full length of the mall to get to the registration table (I had not been to this event in previous years, so didn't know where to park). Boy, is this a popular event! The mall was PACKED. There were HUNDREDS of kids. As it turned out, there were 90 registered for the costume contest just in W's age group. It took us about 20 minutes to walk the length of the mall and back, and we still had over an hour until the contest started at 6pm, so I got W out of there. He was getting overwhelmed. There was so much to see!

We drove across the street and got some dinner, then went to the grocery store to pick up a few pantry items we needed at home. When we were done, it was time to head back to the mall (this time parking near where the stage was set up).

It was pretty much a madhouse with all those kids and parents milling about. I had to carry W so he wouldn't get trampled. But as I suspected, they started with the babies, so it was W's turn to walk across the stage within 10 minutes of the start of the event. He did great!

When it was his turn, I helped him up the stairs, but then I ran back around the speakers to catch up with him from the far side of the catwalk (so I could walk on the floor rather than the platform). I held his hand, and when he got to the center I prompted him to turn and wave to the judges, and he did it! I really hadn't been expecting this since he was getting tired by this point, but he even smiled at the judges, unprompted. Then turned and walked to the other end of the stage, where I helped him down the stairs.

After his performance, I took his hat off since I figured he must be getting hot. We wandered down the mall to where it was less crowded, and I let him get a lollipop from one of the stores, and we sat in a comfortable chair and relaxed for awhile, watching all the costumed kids walking by. W seems to like the glittery, fluttery girls-- princesses, butterflies, ladybugs. We went back to the stage area when they announced the top 3 contestants, but W was not among them.

Two of the three that won were really cute (a little boy was a chef and a girl was Little Bo Peep or something like that). The third was Scooby Doo, but the baby had its entire family as props, each dressed as one of the Scooby Doo gang. If it was just the baby, I don't think they would have gotten picked. But that's ok-- really I can't figure out how the judges would be able to narrow it down to three. In the 0-3 age group, almost ALL of the kids were really adorable. I think it's because they are practically life-size when they dress up as things. W is the size of a real monkey. There was another kid who crawled across the stage as a dog, also about the right size. There was a teeny-tiny toddler girl dressed as the most adorable lady-bug I'd seen-- not the usual costume that is on 10% of every little girl, but some sort of special ladybug costume I hadn't seen before. Another baby was dressed as a cuddly Peep candy. And on and on. We didn't stay to watch them all, but you get the idea.

I'd totally take W again next year. He likes the attention he gets from everyone; every 10 feet while we were walking through the mall, someone exclaims, "what a cute little monkey" and he looks up and smiles with his big cheesy grin, and he sometimes will wave. And the prize bags for the winners of the contest were pretty good. And now I know it doesn't really matter too much what the costume is (at least for this baby group), as long as the baby is cute, they'll have a shot at the prize. But with so many cute contestants, it's pretty much a lottery, and anyone could wind up in the finals. Of the top 3, the winner is chosen by applause.

Unfortunately, since T was not interested in going to this event, I don't have a video of W walking the catwalk, since I had to hold his hand so he wouldn't fall off the side. But you can imagine how cute he was. I have video of him running through the yard yesterday, my goal is to edit the clips down to something reasonable (rather than its current seven minutes) and I'll post that. Since he really does look like an actual monkey when he's running around and climbing over things.