Last year in October, Grace and I went to Build-A-Bear Workshop to make a new friend for Grace and one for the new baby who’d be arriving soon. We both remember how good we felt as we made that pink bear.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, for me, is less about a stuffed animal and more about the experience. Making a stuffed animal there is a warm fuzzy kind of fun that I look forward to as much as Grace does.
A few weeks ago, a rep from Build-A-Bear contacted me to ask if we’d be willing to make one of their holiday-themed animals.
I asked Grace, and she said, Yes! Yes! Can we go today? Right now? Can we get dressed and go now?
We didn’t go right then; we waited until the weekend so that Joe could go with us.
The day before we went, Grace had some enormous trauma. I don’t remember what it was now, but it involved incredible tears and devastation and (I think) Santa Claus.
In a weak effort to distract her from whatever it was, I brought up the Build-A-Bear Workshop website. We looked at all the available options, and she decided that she’d make a Clarice reindeer.
Win! The trauma was over.
When we arrived at the Build-A-Bear Workshop store, there were only 3 Clarices available. We dug around and found some or the trauma would probably have started anew.
We had to wait a few minutes to stuff Clarice; a gaggle of 5-year-old birthday partiers were ahead of us.
When it was our turn, Grace stepped on the pedal and filled Clarice full of stuffing.
Then she did a little dance with Clarice’s heart and made a wish. I know the wish, but she swore me to secrecy.
I love this part of the process. The Build-A-Bear employee always has a routine that Grace has to do, like rubbing the heart on her belly so that the stuffed animal will always have plenty to eat and touching it to her chest so that it will always be loved.
Once Clarice was stuffed and sewn up, it was time for her to get a bath.
Grace was smitten with the idea of Clarice getting a bath. She’s been bathing Clarice at home every day since, leaving me to feel a little inadequate. My kid bathes her stuffed animals more often than I bathe my kids.
On another note, Grace thinks she’s so grown up because she has pajamas jeans. I think they’re less pajama jeans and more jeggings, but we won’t split hairs here.
After Clarice was clean, it was time to dress her up. We found an outfit on the clearance rack that had Clarice and Rudolph on it, so that was a given.
Grace enjoys dressing Clarice up and undressing her and dressing her in something else. That’s a great part of the in-store experience at Build-A-Bear: you can try different outfits on your new friend, and you can keep trying until you have the perfect ensemble.
This was her favorite dress –
– until she turned around and saw beds. Beds!
She quickly removed the dress and found the perfect bed for Clarice instead.
(I had given her a budget, and she couldn’t afford the dress and the bed. She had to pick.)
Grace made Clarice a birth certificate. We paid, and Clarice spent about two minutes in the super cool box/house that all Build-A-Bear Workshop animals live in.
By the time we stopped for lunch at the food court in the mall, Clarice was out of her cool house and held lovingly by a 4-year-old.
She’s been held almost constantly ever since. It’s been a couple of weeks.
We did have a problem with Clarice, but it was fixed quickly. The seam on the back of her head popped open the day after we brought Clarice home. We went back to the store, and they sewed it up with some magic invisible stitch that made it as good as new. You can’t even tell that it was mended.
Through that experience, I learned that you can take any Build-A-Bear Workshop stuffed animal back to the store to have its boo-boos mended. They even put on a band-aid!
We received a gift card for Build-A-Bear Workshop in order to review the store experience, but I was not compensated in any other way. This post contains affiliate links.
© 2011 – 2015, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.