Charlie asked for permission to use a pair of scissors. Based on his past indiscretions with scissors, permission must be granted by an adult before he can be allowed to start cutting away. Furthermore, Charlie is not permitted to cut HAIR (his own or hair belonging to anyone else) nor to cut/shred/mutilate CLOTHES (his own or clothes belonging to anyone else.)

I asked why he needed the scissors, mindful of the fact that he had just spent a solid twenty minutes analyzing a Halloween costume catalog while eating his after-school snack. I could see by the level of concentration, and the intense focus of his gaze as he diligently scanned each page of the catalog, that something big was about to go down…upstairs in his room…if I were to guess. He might have thought I didn’t notice. Well, he was mistaken and now that he’d asked me for scissors, I was extremely wary.

“I’m making pit-wigs,” he told me.

“Pit-wigs? What are they? How do you make ’em? What are the scissors for exactly?”

“It’s pretend werewolf armpit hair… out of some the old wigs from my costume chest. I need armpit hair to make my werewolf costume look realistic. I already told you about this…when you found my shredded and inked up t-shirts. Remember?”

“Yes, I remember. Well, I’ll be accompanying you in your creative workroom…for the cutting.”

“Fine. (sigh) But don’t say stuff to me while I’m making the pit-wigs. Just let me do it my way.”

“I think I mentioned to you that you might have a problem getting the armpit hair, um the pit-wigs, to stick if you tape them to your underarms.”

“I know that, Mom. I already have some other ideas for how to make that work. That’s what I mean…you can’t control how I do my project…with your ideas. Your ideas never work. I don’t want parental input.”

“Fine. (sigh) ‘Parental input’ – that’s a good phrase. How’d ya know to say that?”

“I just know it. Besides, parental input is what you DO to me ALL day long, EVERY day of my life, Mom.”

“True. Well anyway, sometimes my ideas are excellent.”

“Not really. Can you get me the scissors now? The big ones…for grown-ups that you hide high in the cabinet.” (with a goading voice) I know exactly where you keep ’em, you know.”

“Are we going to be nice to each other…during this project? Like, no insulting, no sassing?”

“Okay by me. But you can’t be all bossy to me. You have to be quiet. Hurry up! I mean, please, hurry up and get the scissors down. Before my ideas run out.”

As the silent observer in project “Werewolf Pit-Wigs,” I kept many thoughts and opinions to myself as I watched Charlie cut up his play wigs in his room with the red pair of adult scissors. The pit-wigs looked exactly like cut up pieces of wig as far as I could tell, not really like the armpit hair/fur of a hairy, monstrous werewolf. I wasn’t sure what Charlie thought of his own handiwork since he remained silent while turning and examining the cut-up wig pieces this way and that.

As always, Charlie seems steadfast in making his vision of a ferocious and wild werewolf work. We’re only six days into September and I have no doubt that with a few more guided scissor sessions and several costume details added here and there, he will have whipped up something amazing – in the werewolf category – by October 31.

I like saying “pit-wigs.” There aren’t really a lot of opportunities to talk about your armpit hair, or pit-wigs, but as Halloween draws near, and the werewolf costume creation is closer to completion, I’m hoping to get the chance to say it from time to time. I like how it rolls off the tongue, almost like a curse. Pit-wigs. Pit-wigs. Pit-wigs.