A few days after I make a snide comment about children watching too much television, Simone sees a project on TV and asks whether we can make it. Sure, I say. We go to the local crafts store, where I buy all of the supplies. We get home, and I can’t print out the templates. I announce the project will have to wait until the next day.
Meanwhile, I call in Ken for backup. I am a Mac person and maybe the site is more PC friendly. He goes to work to print the templates on a PC. That doesn’t work. I have an idea. Let’s take the little pictures to the local copy shop and enlarge them. Presto!
I cut out all the tiny pieces and the girls help glue them into place. We glue the pillow together and then it’s time for stuffing. Nadia’s pillow, a miniature Zee, looks like the character. But Simone’s rendition of Moose is a bit deformed. I got a little fabric glue where I shouldn’t have, and Moose has an arm where his tummy should be. I try to fix it, to wiggle the fabric free. It doesn’t work. Fabric glue is really strong. Simone is not happy. What to do?
At this point, I should point out this little craft project is taking more than the alloted 30 minutes.
I check the felt to see if I can start over; there are only scraps. I check the time; stores are closing. There is always that local discount store I refuse to go to. You know, the one that is always crowded, has long lines, rude customers and poor customer service. It’s the same store where the prices are so good folks will run you over, trying to get a spot in the not-so-well-lit parking lot. I can suspend my boycott this one time. I can go there, get one piece of felt and save the day. It’s up to you, Ken says. I can do it, I assure him.
I find the fabric department and the felt. I can get a whole pack of felt for the low, low price of $3.97. I suck it up and get the pack. I pick up some juice and see if I can find some alphabet tots and head to the register. I give up on the tots and find a short line.
It’s just the lady in front and me. The cashier totals her order. “Did you get this?” she wants to know. He adds the final item and totals again. She flashes a blue card and whips out a tiny piece of paper from her purse. The slip of paper has an even tinier number written on it. She punches it in. It does not work. She gives it a second try. Success.
Then I hear, “Mama, are you done yet?” A teen-ager and a grown man appear with armfuls of stuff. The cashier obliges these late arrivals. Sigh.
It is my turn. Yes! The cashier rings up my stuff, and I pay for the items. He spins a little carousel around, and I pick up my things. My arms feel a little light. I realize I don’t have the juice. I go back to get the juice, which is right where I left it. I walk out of that crazy store and into its crazy parking lot. I can’t find my car. It’s dark and I cannot see. My dad calls. He is surprised I’ve suspended my boycott of his favorite discount store. It’s for his granddaughter, I tell him, and then I find my car. I relate the story of the deformed Moose, and he laughs. Simone sounds a lot like a little girl he helped raise.
All I can do is laugh. I save the day. The new Moose looks like himself. The project, with all its twists and turns, has taken more than 24 hours to complete. And yes, the boycott is back on.