So, as promised, I have put together a follow-up blog complete with photos to prove I truly did venture into the world of wagon decorating to deliver on the Mommy delirium Frozen wagon promise. It actually wasn’t all that traumatic. And the wagon came out pretty cute, too.
I hit Hobby Lobby during its duly-appointed time slot on the grid of insanity that is my schedule. Side note: Did you know that there is an app for this place? And that they always have an online coupon? It’s a good one, too – like 40% off of an item! And their Christmas section is already in full swing and on sale! And that no matter how many people are shopping or waiting in line, they only man two registers at a time. The staff is super nice, though. So, there’s that.
I had allotted 40 minutes to get in, get shopped, and get out. Yes, I am a total rookie. I’ll pause here to give the Hobby Lobby veterans a chance to wipe the tears of mirth from their eyes and collect themselves enough to continue reading. We all good here? Okay.
Realizing my mistake immediately upon seeing the checkout lines, I grabbed a basket, straightened my shoulders and charged ahead at a pace any mall walker would envy. I gave myself a stern talking to about not getting sidetracked by all the aisles of sparkles (there is so much to look at, and all of it shiny or poofy or patterned), choosing to listen instead to the repeating voice of Steph’s advice. “Don’t get fancy, sister”, she admonished, “just slap some glitter on that business and be done with it.” Roger that. Glitter is a go. It’s nice to have friends that understand our limitations without making us feel bad about them.
I quickly decided that this was not the time to get in over my head and try to create a masterpiece on the fly. My solution was direct – I headed straight for the Christmas department and raced up and down the aisles, grabbing everything that was white, silver or sparkly blue. I snagged three different types of snowflake ornaments, two packages of fake snowballs and some tinsel. I blasted my way through the feather boas and quilt/toy stuffing. I accosted HL staffers for help with glittery spray paint and spray adhesive. I re-accosted another staffer for help with the tiaras (apparently, they are quite concerned with the likelihood that rampaging brides will steal $12.99 tiaras right out of the wedding zone, thus placing them in a locked case…like they are the most valuable thing in the store). I fidgeted my way through the checkout line wait, downloading of the magical coupon app and excited questioning of the very enthusiastic cashier. I headed out the double doors, arms loaded down with $68 of supplies and a determination to decorate a wagon to be proud of if it killed me.
Naturally, I called for reinforcements that evening, bribing Pledge Ashley with promises of dinner. I already had the wagon washed and prepped for glitter paint when she arrived, and we sprayed that puppy down with vigor. Once it dried, we filled it with stuffing to approximate snow and then got to work picking out snowflakes. Sweet Friend looked at me all wide-eyed and asked, “Where’s your glue gun?’ Seriously? I stood blinking at her for about 30 seconds, until she threw her hands up in exasperation, exclaiming, “How do you expect to craft without a glue gun?”
First of all, I never actually “expect to craft”. Ever.
Second, since when is “craft” a verb?
You’ll be quite impressed (or horrified) to know that we did indeed secure four beautiful snowflakes to the wagon using Kinesiotape – it’s that colorful stuff you see on marathon runners and Olympians. I use it all the time as a PT….and I happen to have it in blue. I knew we needed something that could stick to a plastic surface covered in glitter paint. Booyah!
Emry’s reaction was priceless. Her excitement and wonder and appreciation were beyond anything I deserved. We put a singing Olaf as the passenger, dressed her in her Elsa costume and tiara and headed to the parade of a lifetime.
Look at that smile! Best outcome ever!
The picture doesn’t do the amount of sparkle justice. I’ll be cleaning glitter out of my car for months. Just as I started to wonder if we had overdone things a little, we got to school, unloaded and made our way to the classroom. The oohs and aahs over her outfit and crown and braid were adorable. I headed to the gym to drop off the wagon, and was so very grateful for the crafting effort put into her little float. These wagons were incredible. They were colorful and creative and impressively themed. In the corner of the gymnasium was a mother/grandmother team with a glue gun (apparently a common tool), building a mast onto a pirate ship wagon. I kid you not. It was epic. And a bit scary. My glitter paint didn’t seem so out of control at that point.
The “parade” was just as precious as we expected it to be. Parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and teachers stood in the parking lot clapping and smiling and taking pictures while patriotic music blared from the lone speaker and our little darlings marched around the designated route. Emry was so proud, waving and smiling as she marched by pulling her creation and occasionally shouting orders to the easily distracted little boy in front of her. Those sweet little showmen walked around the assigned circular path no less than 137 times. I am not even kidding. I guess the school figured since we had put so much effort into the wagons, we would enjoy watching them go by over and over and over and over……
I’m not ashamed to say I shed a few tears as I watched. She looked so grown up and pleased with herself. Her face lit up every time she went by and saw us waving. Her wagon, her dress, her hair….all were exclaimed over and complimented the entire morning. When the parade was over, my little ice princess ran full tilt towards me, leaping into my arms and wrapping herself around me with abandon. She hugged me tight, whispering in my ear, “Thank you, Mommy”.
Oh, my heart. Talk about a moment to freeze in my memory forever.
Who knew stepping outside of myself, of my comfort zone and preferences could be so rewarding?
I may even buy a glue gun….
Solidarity, sisters. Life is art.