When we first entered the Build-A-Bear store, my husband sort of had an expression that looked like this:
It might have been the first time he had ever been in the store. But Natalie had somehow convinced him to buy her a pony.
The store was somewhat crowded, and Tom isn't a fan of crowds. Especially in confined spaces. Natalie went over to the My Little Pony section and picked out Princess Celestia. Then we waited in line to get her stuffed.
Tom was thrilled.
The ladies that stuff the animals are extremely peppy. It's sort of like being in Disney World where the women speak two octaves higher than normal. Natalie loved it though. The lady asked her what she wanted to name her pony and Natalie gave her a look like this:
"Uh, Celestia. Because that's who she IS." I was glad she didn't add a "duh" at the end of the sentence. She tells me "duh" a lot.
The lady let her press the pedal to stuff Celestia, and this worried me because I imagined the poor thing blowing up because of Natalie's lead foot. She has one. I know because I shared a car with her on that speedway ride at Disney. It was a frightening experience.
Oh, and before Celestia was stuffed? The lady asked if Natalie wanted her to have a heartbeat or a scent.
A heartbeat. Or a scent.
"What sort of place is this?" my son Tommy asked. We had dragged him out too. He was only there because we were having lunch afterwards and he doesn't pass up the opportunity to eat.
Natalie decided that Celestia needed to smell like Cotton Candy.
Celestia also got a heart placed inside her. Before this happened, Natalie got to kiss the heart and think good thoughts about it. So her stuffed pony would have a long life. Or something. I tried to convince her to get the sound of Chewbacca "talking" to put inside her as well, but Natalie was appalled at the thought.
"You can't put a WOOKIE sound in a My Little Pony!"
"Why not? It would be hilarious!"
(No Wookie sounds were put inside the pony. *Le sigh*)
After the pony was stuffed, Natalie had to pick out clothes, because it would be improper for a Princess to go naked.
Five minutes later Tom was like, "Could you pick something out? The men in this family are hungry." I noticed Tommy stood up a little bit taller over being called a man.
"Everything is so beautiful," Natalie breathed. She eventually chose a cape and a crown. We checked out, passed out a little over the price, laughed a little over the other dad nearby who was like, "Wait. It's nearly twenty dollars for a shirt for a STUFFED ANIMAL?" and then went on our way.
When we got home Natalie had to show Princess Celestia around the house.
"This is my room. This is Tommy's room. This is kitchen. Mommy hates to cook in here. She tries her best though."
Ruby the cat loved the box Celestia came in. She claimed it as her own.
So yes, Build-A-Bear might get pricey. But look at it this way: you make your kid happy.
And you get a free toy for your cat.