We took our 8 year old daughter to Build-an-Addict Workshop. You know the place, you pick a limp-bodied critter, fill it with the perfect amount of stuffing then dress it. I didn't think Syd would have fun there. She hates to shop and try on clothes. I figured she'd hate the whole outfit approach and just leave with a naked animal.
She finally decided on the lamb and explained to her daddy why. "It's a limited edition Easter lamb. So, they're not going to make any more. The lady said there are only two bags of them left, then they won't get anymore. It's rare." Yes, she asked the lady how many more lambs she had in stock and if she'd be getting more. When I was pregnant, we used to do a lot of flea market collectible shopping. I think this is one of those things she picked up in the womb.
"That's nice," he said as he headed to the register to pay.
"No, wait," said the really nice sales lady. "We've got to make her fluffy."
She talked to Syd about the importance of caring for her new stuffed, cuddly friend. We chuckled. What she didn't know is that we talk to Syd about the importance of caring for her real life cuddly friend (min pin Candy) and it's all for naught as soon as cleaning up pee or poop is involved. "At least this one won't pee," Jim said.
The nice sales lady gave us the evil eye.
Then she went back to her speech.
Just before pulling the string to tie the stuffing into the lamb, she told Syd to pick out a heart. Syd reached into a box of 2 inch hearts and handed one to the lady.
"Not yet," the lady said. "First, you have to rub it in your hands to make sure it's always warm."
Jim raised his eyebrow. The one that I call Geraldo Rivera. Honestly, an eyebrow that can move on its own like that deserves to have its own name.
"Now, touch it to your heart so it will always feel close to you." Or something like that. Whatever it was, the kid was eating it up.
"Touch it to your head, so it will be as intelligent as you are."
"Touch it to your tummy, so it will never be hungry."
I lean over to Jim and whisper, "Touch it on your booty so it will always have health bowel movements." He laughed. The sales lady did not. She's never met us before so there's no way she could know of my mom's obsession with everyone's bowel movements. ("Did Syd go to the bathroom today? Did she eat salad? You should give her prune juice. Does she eat as much peanut butter as Jim? Bananas will constipate her. Did I send enough bananas home with Syd?" --yeah, there's no logic.) Anyway, there's no way that sales lady could have heard me. Jim says it was the motion I did that gave it away.
The end was to kiss the heart and drop it inside the lamb. Syd kissed "at" the heart and tried to stick it inside. The lady said, "That wasn't a kiss. Give it REAL kiss." Syd froze and I knew that my 8 years of brainwashing had paid off.
"It's a germ issue," Jim explained to the clerk. As it turns out, she has a Geraldo Rivera on her face, too.
I explained further. "You have all these hearts in a box and lots of little fingers touch them and we don't know where those little fingers have been or what was on them when they touched the little hearts. I think I have an individually wrapped sanitizer wipe in my pocket..."
"Just put it in," she told Syd.
Anyway, we got through the ritual. From there, it's time to fluff your critter at the spa station. My kid who hates to hear a blow drier absolutely loved blow drying this lamb.
"Now it's time to pick an outfit," the sales lady said.
It was like someone aimed a remote at the kid and pushed "fast forward." OMG. Seriously. I didn't know she could move that fast.
She had cheer outfits, swimsuits, coats, crowns, shoes, you name it. I stepped in to start winding things down. I limited her to one outfit. She wanted to know if she could get the car and the beach chair to go with the outfit.
No, not today.
So in trying to decide what to get, the sales lady suggests getting a first outfit that reflects something Syd loves to do. Back went the cheer outfit.
Back went the beach gear.
Back went the sparkly dress and shoes.
Then, we saw it. A night gown with a robe. Perfect for the home-schooled kid who asks, "Mom, do I have to pants today?"
Jim was relieved. The sales lady was ...well, she was hard to read at this point, but pointed out that the newest member of our family didn't have on any undies.
Jim said, "Really?" Then he looks at me and asks, "What kind of person am I if I say our lamb doesn't need undies?"
"I don't know," I said. "But there are little undie thongs back there to wear under those low cut critter jeans over there." That's his pet peeve: young girls (and old women for that matter) who wear low rise jeans and high rise thongs to show off. I forgot to tell him I was just joking.
So, we did skip the lamb undies but did get her one pair of bunny slippers. At $8 a pair, I-- the cheapskate of the family -- wasn't going to point out that the lamb has two more feet. I was the one naive enough to think we could go in and get out of the store for less than $25.
Syd named her lamb Snow, which is a good name for a fuzzy lamb whose fleece is white as snow. I had Jammy Lamby in mind, but I'm just a mom. What do I know?
I do know a little more after my Build-an-Addict experience:
1. Don't expect to build a critter for less than $25 unless you get a mini animal. They're in the back. The big ones are prominently up front. Because they expect cheapos like me.
2. The stuffing and heart ceremony is as almost as sacred as a wedding. More sacred than two of my own.
3. It's addictive for moms, too. I've spent the day designing a canopy bed and closet system to hold all the clothes I'm going to make. Snow will wear one-of-a-kind Jammy Lamby designs.
4. Get a hanger. We didn't get our hanger that the outfit came on. If we had, I'd have been able to trace it to make more. As it is, I had to design my own (I'll post it soon).
5. I wish I'd thought of that!