Yesterday we were sorting out the presents the girls would be getting with their Christmas money (they always get some in advance of Christmas from a family friend). N decided she wanted a Barbie with wings from Amazon so I placed the order for her using my super-dooper Amazon Prime delivery service. Hooray, it would arrive tomorrow.
S wasn't sure but had seen an advert showing an Elsa bear. We started to look for one and realised it was from Build-A-Bear. I thought about ordering it online then wondered if it would be more fun to go to the shop and do it. I called the nearest store (High Wycombe) and spoke to a lovely lady there who said they had plenty of Elsa's in stock. Clearly I wanted to check this first before heading all the way to High Wycombe only to find they are sold out! She also told me about what a sweet experience it was for children to build their own bear. I was sold. We were going to head off the next day (that's today now you see).
Naturally, once N knew we were off to Build-A-Bear, she decided she no longer wanted winged-Barbie but wanted an Anna bear. I hastily cancelled the order with Amazon and fortunately it was just in time so the cancellation went through. Two excited girls went to bed last night.
This morning we were up early. I was woken by calls from the girls' room saying "Are we going to Build-A-Bear now mummy?" It was 7am so I said not just yet. By 7.30am I had been asked about 20 times if it was now time and could they put their shoes on. We finally headed off at 8.15am.
A surprisingly quiet drive across to High Wycombe and we parked up easily in the mutli-storey car park over the Eden Shopping Centre. I got on the 1st floor which was a shock as I thought everyone would be out at the crack of sparrows to hit the shops at this time of year. Arrived at Build-A-Bear and it wasn't quite open. We waited outside and I chatted to another lady who was waiting too.
In went the girls and chose their floppy bears. The process was really lovely. They went to the stuffing machine where the lady asked them their names and wrote them on their bears' collars. A little bar code was taken off and popped into the bears tummy in case they ever got lost and hopefully were handed in to be reunited with their owners. What a fab idea! ID tagging for teddies! I love it!
The girls then put their foot onto the pedal one at a time and filled their bears with stuffing before choosing a little soft red heart, doing a little ritual with it before giving it a kiss and popping it into the bear. They loved every bit of this. Once the lady had sewn the bears up, we headed to the dressing table and the girls dressed their bears in the Elsa and Anna outfits we'd bought. They gave them a little brush and they were almost ready.
Finally, the birth certificate. I sat at the console and filled in the details for the bears for each of my girls. They chose a name - of course Elsa and Anna were the first names but both bears have other names too - and their bears were born.
They were both delighted to get a box for their bears. It's a house you see and they are colouring them in as I type this, customising them for their own bears. They also got a little Team Santa medallion so they can play a game on their tablets.
The icing on the cake for me was being able to pick up £10 gift cards for £5 each. I had a couple of those as I know we will be back to Build-A-Bear to buy some more little outfits or get more bears next year.
I am so glad we went there today. Such a lovely little experience.