Friday, August 17, 2007


For all of you who don't know, "BABW" stands for Build-a-Bear Workshop. How could you not know that? You mean you don't have a child in your house whose every other sentence is one of the following?:

1) "For Christmas, I either want a BABW gift card or you can just order some BABW outfits online for me to unwrap."

2) "Mommy, do you want to give my BABW animals a nice goodnight kiss?"

3) "Oooh, Mommy! The BABW website has updated and it has the cutest, most adorable-est outfits and accessories!"

4) "When is the next time we can go to the mall and visit BABW?"

The only thing I can say about the Build-a-Bear Workshop offerings is that at least they're not disgustingly expensive like those American Girl dolls. I hashed that one out with my girls a long, long time ago when we happened to be flipping through an American Girl catalog together and I saw a pair of teeny-tiny pajamas with a price tag of $30.

"Thirty dollars? Thirty DOLLARS??!! I've never spent thirty dollars on a pair of pajamas in my life! I don't think that all the pajamas I've bought for the both of you since birth have added up to thirty dollars!" I shrieked right before I fell prostrate in horror at the idea of such mad extravagance.

The girls agreed that if they ever wanted an American Girl doll for Christmas or birthday, they'd have to ask Nanny and Poppy. I told them that I would never, ever countenance getting them one of those overpriced, overmarketed creatures. With children starving in the world, it just seems wrong to me to spend $90 on a doll. Especially if I'm going to have to buy her a pair of thirty dollar pajamas so that she can lay her vinyl self down in a canopy bed that costs forty bucks. What a racket. Those American Girl historical books really suck, too, so my enthusiasm in getting dragged onto that particular bandwagon was very, very muted.

Enter Build-a-Bear Workshop, where you can buy a big teddy for $20 and have the pleasure of choosing a heart, giving it a kiss, making a wish and then putting your little foot on the pedal that blows his plushy hide full of stuffing. I applaud the person who came up with this monstrously brilliant idea - I have to say, the whole BABW experience is a lot of fun and has given Aisling a great deal of pleasure, even though I'd rather have a root canal than visit the store more than a couple of times a year. I'm more of a BAFW (Build-a-Fajita Workshop) kind of girl. Even though every time we go in there, we see people aged from two to ninety-two. All of them squealing.

In addition to lots of different animals, BABW also sells little bitty outfits for the eighteen-inch bears and rabbits, of which Aisling has one of each. (She also has a white BABW dog named Izzie who goes with her everywhere.) The outfits are so cute that Aisling, Meelyn and I can't help but stand there and squeal like idiots. There are also wee little shoes and panties and socks; Aisling's teddy wears glasses just like her own and today we saw miniature MPaw3 Players for the animals to listen to.

Aisling had some allowance money saved up, plus a $25 gift card that she's been hanging onto since her birthday in June. I told her that I'd take her to the mall before school started up again; she has been spending a lot of time on the BABW website, trying to decide if she wanted to place an online order or actually go to the bricks-and-mortar and see and touch the clothes for herself before purchasing.

"Oooh, look at this black polka-dot tunic," she gushed. "Wouldn't it look cute with these tights? Or...maybe I should get the Hello Kitty sage green camouflage skirt? The cheetah print top with the black shrug? But look at this cuuuuute sundress! Oh, I can't decide!"

Meelyn and I exchanged a look. It's the look we always exchange when it becomes obvious that Aisling is going to need some guidance, otherwise we're going to be in Build-a-Bear Workshop until they throw us out at closing time.

She had enough money to buy three little outfits and -- a true child of the Clinton and Stacy generation -- she makes sure that everything she buys will coordinate with the eight million pieces of BABW clothing she already owns. I've never seen such carefully and fashionably dressed plush animals. They dress much better than I do. I've been thinking about carrying one around with me so that I can show it to everyone I meet; that way they'll know that I really do know what's what, even if I am wearing an outfit accessorized by a necklace I got on clearance at Wal-Mart.

On our way through the mall, we made a quick detour through the handbags and the ladies' fragrance section at Macy's: Dooney & Burke has a little purse shaped exactly like a frankfurter with handles and Sarah Jessica Parker's new perfume, Covet, smells like the water that faeries took their baths in, so light and sweet and pretty that I'm still smelling my wrists and saying, "Mmmmm....!" three hours later.

We had lunch at Quizno's and my roast beef was very good, although Meelyn was not impressed with her little Italiano wrap sandwich.

It's been a very fun day, something new to do since we're sick of being at the pool.

No comments: