When I told them that it would be easier to simply buy those costumes and that mommy wouldn't be making them, they modified their request to dinosaurs.
"Excellent!" I thought, "we can recycle last year's dinosaur costumes."
Unfortunately, they didn't want to wear last year's costumes. They wanted me to make completely new costumes of even more complex and complicated dinosaurs. My reply to that was that they could reuse their old costumes and that if they asked mommy nicely, maybe I'd help them to modify them. That did not go over well.
Btw: How does my four year old pronounce "quetzalcoatlus" but still say "pee-cause?"
So I decided that since I was going to approve/veto their costume choices anyway, I should just pick their costumes for them and finesse them into thinking that it was their choice to begin with. Alice in Wonderland seemed to be the easiest group costume to execute with the limited time I had left, and so a plan was hatched.
The linchpin of my plan was to convince the eldest and have him convince the others. I figured that Tim Burton's Mad Hatter was the coolest male character to sell to my son. One pre-screened YouTube video later, showcasing Johnny Depp's Hatter as Alice's knight in magical armour, and I had a convert. Add to that a viewing of the original Disney movie, pointing out that Alice got to play with a rabbit and wear a dress, and repositioning the Cheshire cat as a superhero with disappearing powers, and the other kids were soon on board.
I have to say that the end definitely justified the means :) A photo tute of how the costumes were put together, starting tomorrow.