Saturday, February 02, 2008

I survived Build-A-Bear

My oldest child turned ten in January (see my moaning post of yore).

We have a budgeted amount for each child's birthday. When they are old enough to semi-rationally make decisions on spending, we allow them to determine exactly how that money is spent.

For months, Mac has said, "I want to go to Build-A-Bear!"

She didn't want a cake. She didn't want a wrapped-up-gift. She just wanted to take a friend or two to the monstrosity that is the Build-A-Bear Workshop. My little activist looked past the fact that this company buys all their stuff from China. She wanted the experience ... at least once. And it was HER birthday and HER money.

So, we got online and researched the cost of bears and clothing. She decided that she could take two friends and they could all afford the cheapest bear and one simple set of clothes.

And we were off ...

Might I suggest that, if at all humanly possible, you avoid visiting this place - ever - but particularly on a SATURDAY! We had three different birthday parties marching through while we were there - packs of kids with deflated bears on their heads, chanting the "stuff my bear" thingy that they do. NOTE: there are absolutely NO places for weary grown-ups to sit down. We were all leaning on the "Dressing Room" tables as much as we could, without knocking little bear panties off the racks.

Yes, you can buy panties for your bear.

I will say, that I had three of the sweetest girls with me. They each knew their individual budget, and all worked together to not go over. Granted, they are all GREAT shoppers and spent a good hour evaluating and comparison pricing to make the perfect selections. That would be when I was leaning against the pantie racks.

One of the girls even said, "I'm so glad you gave us a limit on what we could spend. There are too many choices! That made it easier." So sweet.

Speaking of choices, they have little bear sunglasses, purses, mp3 players, cell phones, laptops, furniture, pretend food, camping equipment ...

Individually, it's all really cheap (thanks to the wonderful children toiling away in sweatshops in China - thanks, guys!), yet when you put it all together ... well, some of those moms could have sent their kids to college on what they were hauling out of there. Thus, making Build-A-Bear a bigger monstrosity.


But I survived it. Where's my medal?


Amie said...

Oh yeah...I hear ya' sister. My son's Godmother and I took my son for his 7th birthday and for just the cheapest bear, two outfits, and a pair of cost us like $75! Ugh! I know what you mean about leaning on the panty racks, too! LOL. Still, sounds like they really enjoyed themselves.

The Rudd Family said...

Sounds like they were a very wise bunch. We've done that before, too. Admit it, you really had fun...and think of all the bear clothes you can make from your old t-shirts and jeans!

The Shan said...

I'm just going to agree with you about Build-a-bear. Y-I-K-E-S. Having entire parties there? I remember a time when cake and few streamers did the trick. I guess I remember so well because that's pretty much all we still do. HeuH! This isn't Orange county after all.

Summer said...

*gets out cane and rocking chair*

In my day bears didn't have panties! You were lucky if they even had clothes! A respectible teddy bear wouldn't be seen with gadgets and acessories. And you bought them already stuffed. There wasn't some fancy store that stuffed the things in front of you. We respected privacy back then! Hmph!

*gets out of chair, puts away the cane.*

Who Am I? said...

You do need a medal. My older kids each have one bear from there because my bachelor cousin spoils them rotten. This year is our youngest's turn-he's already given her the gift card. I'm dreading the trip.


Sara said...

I've always wanted to do one myself...but I'm with you, China...and all that packaging! I mean..why do bear clothes need hangers? Seriously..

Christy said...

I think I may win for getting out of there the cheapest in history. I took my 8 year old son there after Christmas with a $5.00 off coupon I had from a magazine. He chose the $10 bear, and when it was ready for accessories, he looked at me and said, "Bears have fur to keep them warm. They don't need clothes." We got out of there for $5 plus tax!!!

Denise said...

Ha! I'm very proud of the fact that I have avoided Build a Bear completely. Except of course in the 90s when I took girl scouts to the original build a bear workshop - but that was entirely different. It wasn't all commercial and chainy and stuff. It was like a real workshop and dusty and dirty and very cool.

I'm glad you lived to blog about your visit, though.