Surviving Yet Another Holiday With Smiles And Duct Tape

Sometimes it’s not the exact holiday you remember when your child has Tourette’s or OCD. It’s the tic or meltdown that comes with it.

After spending days deciding on his costume for this year, my son had to make sure it fit perfectly. And perfectly for him isn’t the same as perfectly for you and I. Oh no. He had to know exactly which shorts and pants felt exactly right under said costume. and how it felt zipped all the way up to the top. and now just half way zipped. And if it scratched him funny. And if it rode up on one side and not the other. And if he could run and bend his knees just right with it on, or if he had to stretch the fabric a bit when he walked. You get the idea.

Mr. Commando Dude who is too cool for his Mom

It’s trying on his helmet and mouth piece over and over, adjusting, re adjusting, and then melting down because it wasn’t curving properly over his mouth. Of course the $19.99 cheap costume wasn’t curving properly over his mouth, but try explaining that to him. After what felt like forever of going back and forth trying to fix it and him declaring Halloween ruined no less than four times, I found duct tape fixed the matter to his liking enough to make him ‘uncomfortable’ but not ‘with a tic uncomfortable’ and we considered this a win and moved on.

Frankly it's the shoes that make the costume

He then dropped off his helmet that I painstakingly worked on for hours after just a block of trick-or-treating…yup. You read that right. He wore it for maybe 30 minutes. Total. But honestly, I didn’t care. He was happy and having fun and that was all that matter. I would have taped a million cheap costume helmets to see my kids smile and be excited like that again.

After adjusting his sister’s cheap headband a few times I was thankful she was happy with how it looked and off they went. She didn’t want make up. She didn’t even want her hair brushed. She threw on her ninja outfit and was ready to rock.

And here is our ninja girl angry she couldn't bring her ninja knives to school

Of course there was also the shoe situation…his were uncomfy after breaking a few days before and his Dad, thankfully, fixed them ‘PERFECTLY’ – she just threw on her pink crocs and took off running. In fact, they both took off running this year so fast I was thankful to have been handing out candy at home.

But now that I think about it…one more thing about that ‘shoe’ situation….why did my son make such an ISSUE over me fixing his helmet and didn’t even blink at his Dad fixing his shoes? The tools which help him run! I swear he just trusts the way his Dad fixes things more than the way I fix them because the man has tools. Whatever. I bet you some of those tools are mine.

While I am glad another holiday is in the books for my kids filled with memories and fun..I’m also glad we continue to find ways to accommodate and beat his Tourette’s and OCD, and not let it beat us. Sure, we all get a bit aggravated sometimes, but we NEVER say it’s his fault and we NEVER make him feel as though there is anything wrong with his body’s needs and his discomforts, doing what we can to make him comfortable in a world he would love to organize and make feel unscratchy and comfy.

But then again, given the chance…wouldn’t we all??


  1. You are such a good mom!

  2. Oh my I hear you. We have so much drama over costumes. When my oldest was inher first year of school the teacher decided to make each Friday a ‘dress up as letter of the week’ day – high drama every single Thirsday night / Friday morning. By end of year I wanted to kill that teacher.

  3. It really does seem to get easier as they get older. At least that’s been our experience. Maybe it’s just us all adjusting or them getting to know themselves better, learning tricks that help them cope and finding favorite shoes and clothes that work. Whatever it is, I can honestly say, in our experience, it gets better. And it gets better without your child losing his identity, changing who he is, or “fixing” himself. You are absolutely spot-on. He has the best support team in you all.

    As an aside, one of my son’s favorite Halloween costumes was a box. Just a box. He designed a candy chute for the front, but otherwise he was a walking box. It was an interesting year.


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