No, We’re Not Hasidic Jews (We’re Gay Penguins)

November 1, 2011 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, DESIGN STUFF, MAKING MEMORIES

Yes, we got asked if we were Hasidic Jews last night by an annoying (and drunk, maybe?) passerby as we were heading to our neighborhood Halloween block party. We also got asked if we were some sort of Two and a Half Men thing. The cutest was overhearing a little girl behind us asking her mom if we were related. Unfortunately, her mom said, “I think they’re just friends.”

I guess it would have been clearer had we ALL been wearing not only tuxes and matching top hats and red bowties, but also beaks and giant yellow feet. Maybe I’ll have more time to be crafty next year, but I doubt it. JJ’s birthday is next week, and I can only fit in so much craftiness in such a short span of time. Hey, I did add the red ribbons to our grownup hats.

So in case it wasn’t clear, we’re penguins. Inspired (partially) by one of our favorite family books, And Tango Makes Three. This equally adorable and controversial book is about two (real) male penguins in the Central Park Zoo who hatched and raised a baby penguin together. It’s a must for any same-sex parent household, as well as for any family with a kid who loves penguins (so yeah, all of them). There was also a funny episode of Parks and Recreation spoofing/celebrating the whole “Gay Penguins” phenomenon.

And Tango Makes Three

But mostly we were inspired by how awesomely cute JJ is in a penguin costume. And luckily he didn’t seem to mind wearing it.

And Tango Makes Three

You can’t hear him, but he’s saying (and doing) “Waddle, waddle, waddle!”

So what did your kiddos (or you) dress as for Halloween? Please share photos — would love to see ’em! And to all you seasoned parents out there, I’m also curious how long your kids let you choose their costume. I know it won’t be long before JJ makes the jump from happily dressing up in whatever cutesy animal suit Daddy picks out to demanding to be Jango Fett, Optimus Prime, or -shudder- a Wiggle.

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23 responses to “No, We’re Not Hasidic Jews (We’re Gay Penguins)”

  1. Colleen says:

    We let our girls start choosing their own costume when they became consistent in their request. If we got the same answer more than three times in a row over the course of say three weeks, that’s what they got. For T, that was this year – 5. She wanted to be “super bug girl”. For Em, it was 2 – fortunately we both wanted her to be Elmo that year.

    • Brent M. Almond says:

      I’d love to see what “Super Bug Girl” ended up looking like! 🙂 And have you heard about “Being Elmo”? I saw the guy who voices Elmo on The Daily Show and he’s a lot less annoying than his character. 🙂 Looks like it might be an interesting documentary.


  2. Lisa says:

    Ok so i don’t get the Hasidic Jews comment esp. since JJ had big yellow feet and a beak but hey, who knows! Stone LOVED being a conductor (I would upload but I have no idea how!) and Ellie and Corey started deciding what they wanted to be around 4 or 5 when they could see the catalogs coming in (in August mind you), so enjoy it while it lasts. Although I did find that I could basically talk them into whatever I wanted them to be until they were about 7 or 8 as long as the picture looked cute in the magazine! I LOVE the penguin idea and I only wish I had thought of something to be besides freezing!

    • Brent M. Almond says:

      I didn’t know of any way to have folks upload a photo directly to the site. I just wanted to see it for myself (which I did!) If you want top post a link to the Facebook image in a comment, that’s cool. Maybe next year I’ll host a little costume contest. 🙂

      Yeah, it’s amazing how early the catalogs come! But I guess not too surprising since we start seeing Christmas stuff even before Halloween now… 😛


  3. Brian says:

    Love the costumes (especially JJ’s)! All three of you look great. Lucy went as the “Pink and Happy” one, Foofa and Harry was a robot (though not Plex). Hope everyone had fun!

    • Brent M. Almond says:

      Thanks Brian! He was really the only one in costume — we were there to just to drive him around. 🙂 Would love to have seen Lucy as Foofa! We ran into a Foofa last night, and I think it was comforting for JJ to see in the midst of all the scary-looking big kids!

      BTW, I heard the Gabba concert was an adventure… 🙂


  4. Noah Moore-Goad says:

    I wish Halloween was longer than just one day…. It’s just awesome!

  5. […] Do you think they’d swing me like that? Maybe if I dressed like a penguin? I just love this little family. And you can learn a bit more about them here. […]

    • Brent M. Almond says:

      Thanks for the shout-out Nerdy — I’m honored! 🙂

      BTW readers, this is Nerdy Apple Bottom, the author of the world-wide famous post about her little boy who dressed like Daphne for Halloween. She has also written many other things. 🙂 Check her out!

  6. Wenjonggal says:

    Oh this is wonderful! I’m here from Nerdy Apple Bottom’s site. I love the Tango Makes 3 book, and that is a wonderful costume for your family! 🙂 My son started demanding his costume choice at age 4 and so far it has been pretty easy. This year he was a super hero, and his cape was purple and his mask orange: he’d made them at another kid’s superhero birthday party. I should send his photo into NAB. Anyways, I thought I’d write as I totally sympathize: my son’s birthday is this week, and it always seems there is something else as well between Halloween and his birthday: surgery, a death, moving! 🙂 So I never get around to either extravagant costumes or birthday parties.

    Anyways, fantastic outfits.

    • Brent M. Almond says:

      Thanks, glad you liked the costumes! Any excuse to dress up our little one like a cute, furry animal.

      I’d love to see the super hero costume! I’m a big comic book fan — JJ’s got some Superman pajamas, but I don’t think gets the concept yet. He just loves running around because it has a cape on it. 🙂

  7. Jinnie says:

    SUPER cute family… you have one lucky child!

    • Brent M. Almond says:

      Thanks Jinnie! And we couldn’t be a luckier pair of Dads! I’m still amazed on a daily basis how lucky I am. 🙂


  8. Daeminimon says:

    ZOMG! I love love love penguins! The story about the Central Park penguins is one of my favourite things ever, I didn’t know there’s a children’s book about it *visits Amazon*.

    I also came here from Nerdy Apple Bottom, and you’ve got yourself a new reader, partly based on your great taste in Halloween costumes! 😉

    My son is the Pretty Kitty submission on Nerdy Apple Bottom’s blog. He was a huge success at nursery! 😀

    • Brent M. Almond says:

      You should definitely check out the book — very sweet! And thanks for reading! I’ll be sure and send Nerdy a shiny apple as thanks.

      I saw your son on your blog — very cute! Like the pink! And are you from Sweden? Denmark?


      • Daeminimon says:

        Oooh, the reviews are fab. And since a lot of people apparently wanted it banned, it’s almost certainly for us! 😉
        Have you read Guess how much I love you? I find that such a beautiful story about father-son relationships, or maile relationships in general. We read that a lot at home!

        Yes, I’m Swedish, well spotted! I have written an English post, should you be interested (I live in the UK since 2003):

        • Brent M. Almond says:

          I’ll definitely have to check out Guess How Much… it seems familiar (and we may have it!) but I’ll have to check through all the piles. 🙂

          Great article on the parents hiding their child’s gender! I’ve written a couple of articles about gender and color specifically. Poke around and look under the tag “Pink v. Blue”, and this article in particular might interest you:


  9. Erica J-W says:

    I love Tango Makes Three. We read it in my lit class about books that were being banned. It is such a shame that this amazing story gets such a bad rep. I love the costumes and feel bad that a mom didn’t take the time to educate her child about love and family that comes in all forms. I applaud you for being you and participating in Halloween with your whole family instead of just making it a child’s thing!

    • Brent M. Almond says:

      Thanks for your comments! Last year we went as bears (we wore “Daddy Bear” and “Papa Bear” shirts, and JJ wore a bear suit). We overheard a child ask their parent “Are they a family?” The mom said yes, and when the child asked how she knew, she answered “Because their shirts say so.” All that to say, some people get it, some people don’t, but it’s always nice to run into those that do. Including yourself. 🙂

  10. […] We’d worn these red bow ties for Halloween a couple years ago — I threaded a purple pipe cleaner through a big-ass purple button and twisted it around the back of the bow tie’s knot. Be sure and tuck the ends of the pipe cleaner under the knot, or else they’ll poke your kid in the neck and he’ll rip that thing right off. And what’s a clown without a bow tie? A hobo, that’s what. . […]

  11. […] not technically superheroes, same-sex penguin couple Roy and Silo are heroes in our house. Their sweet (and true) story of of raising their adopted chick, Tango, can be found in the picture […]

  12. […] ROY, SILO & TANGO While not technically a winter tale, I never pass up an opportunity to share And Tango Makes Three. Also, most penguins dig the […]

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