Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Build a Bear Empire

Build a Bear is raking in the dough.
For Hannah's birthday we made a trip to this "special" place and I was reminded on this, the second trip of my life there, that they are preying on the over zealous, stuffed animal lovin' hearts of children.
I know, I know, it's all about the experience, but has anyone else been a little let down by the experience?
Maybe even a little weirded out?
So my children get to stuff the bear, A.K.A step on a pedal that may or may not actually be working the machine, while a hose is shoved into its belly, sort of like reverse liposuction.
This, after I was offered the upsale of an added noise or thanks, the $25 for the bear is good enough, made me feel a little unimpressed. 
So, following the reverse liposuction, it was time to add the heart. Okay, super, a little heart, a little heart that could not be inserted until my children rubbed it on their heads, their nose, their cheeks, and between their hands, Mr. Miagi style, followed by a kiss and a magical wish. It's a bear ya'll...or a pink princess cat, or a purple princess cat. And while I'm all for imagination, this, well, felt weird and almost like a chant was missing from the whole "awakening of the bear" shenanigan.
So, then they get to give it a bath...
That's cool...
until you get to the bath and, well, you set it down and air blows on it.
My kids' response sums it up, "that's it?"
I did force them to put their hands on the stuffed animal to provide a more powerful effect for the pictures.
Well, this is what I got from Grant:
And then there's the whole, pick out an outfit (or a bed, or a car, or a tie, or glasses, or buttons, or earring...)for only a few (like $15) extra dollars.
Some of the clothes I buy aren't as expensive as the bears' who, consequently, are most definitely better dressed than I am.
This time we bypassed the "make a birth certificate" because well, at my house it will be gone in a few days just like the extreme passion for these animals (two weeks later and I've yet to see these animals played with). Though, I could tell my decision NOT to do that was not well received by the somewhat over zealous Build a Bear worker who likely thought I was a kill joy to my kids (who honestly just wanted the animal).
And, while I'm thankful Hannah and her siblings had a great time picking out their 200th stuffed animal, I think next time I'll go the other route, the one where I find a "like new" Build a Bear monkey decked out in clothes, with sound, and in its box for a whopping $1 at a yard sale just two days later.
It will save me a lot of money and the breath in trying to convince Grant that ripping open the bear to take its heart out isn't the best idea, to which he is still confused as to why not.
Thanks Build a Bear for taking my cash, way too much of it, and giving my child a reason to want to cut open something with the intentions of ripping its heart out.
We're thankful for this memorable experience.