Tuesday, January 22, 2013

When in Doubt, Ask the Kid

Friday's are Bubba Days.  On Bubba Day, I retrieve my granddaughter, Izzy, at kindergarten and we do something together, just the two of us.  During the Bubba Friday "preseason" we'd go to places like the public library, maybe a movie or the kid's museum.  Then Izzy, who is nothing if not an intense negotiator, suggested Peter Piper Pizza, which should be Pay The Piper.  A lot.  Foregoing a cheesy pie for a romp thru the seizure-inducing arcade, she managed to shove $20 into various amusement devices, "won" 200 tickets, then traded them in for a couple of 99-cent store clearance items. 
I subsequently appointed myself dictator of event choices and put Izzy on the non-voting Ad-Hoc committee.  For the most part, we went back to the library, and to the various craft project products that abundantly materialize in little girls' worlds. 
Occasionally, we have ventured out for some entertainment, which can be a scary thing in North Scottsdale.  We went to see a movie, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, and found it playing at a new theatre near us called IPIC in the Scottsdale Quarter.  The nice lady at the concierge desk told us the ticket price was $25 each.  She was obviously quite familiar with the disbelieving, dropped-jaw stare and quickly added that we could buy a membership which would entitle us to a couch, pillows, blankets and free popcorn.  We could also order food from a menu.  We beat a hasty retreat and headed for a normal theatre where the tickets were less unreasonable and the popcorn price was more so. 
I recently acquiesed to Ruth's suggestion that Izzy and I join her dear friend Sydney and Sydney's lovely grandmother, Estelle, at an artsy/craftsy place called Make Meaning.  Located in the Scottsdale Quarter, mere steps away from the IPIC.  A shiver ran down my spine and I protectively grabbed my wallet.  Ruth had two passes that waived the studio fee of $12.50 each (you have to pay this, whether or not you are Making Meaning), so a couple Friday's ago, I picked up Izzy from school and headed to the Scottsdale Quarter.  Parking on the street, when you can find it, is time-limited, so I parked in the garage.  As we got out of the car, I told Izzy to grab her jacket - she said she didn't want to and I didn't feel like arguing.  However, once out of the car Izzy discovered it was very chilly and reached back in to get the coat ... just as I was closing the door.  I realized it at the last second and pulled back as the door grazed her hand.  She was ok, but it rattled me and I was upset as we hurried off (Make Meaning requires a reservation). 
Once inside we connected with our amigas and the two wide eyed little ones started scoping out all the wonderful meaning-making opportunities (i.e., cake decorating, painting ceramics, soap making, candle design, etc.).   As much as I tried via warm and fuzzy interrogation of the "ACEs" (Associate Creativity Enthusiasts), I could not get a straight answer on how much a glass necklace and a ceramic mug were going to set me back.  Estelle and I limited Izzy and Sydney to two activities and I decided to go back to the car for the brochure which had discount coupons.
I didn't find the coupons because I couldn't find the car.   I was so distracted by nearly slamming Izzy's hand in the car door when we arrived, that I hadn't paid attention to where we were.  I got my daily exercise touring several floors of the garage and finally encountered a valet who suggested I ask the person I came with.  I mentioned my companion was a five-year-old, and we continued the search.  Eventually, we wandered into level/section B-1 and came across some handicapped spaces that seemed familiar.  I pressed my unlock button on my keyring and the lights of my car flashed.  Whew!  I asked the valet if he encountered a lot of nuts like me with missing cars.
I thanked him anyway.  I looked in the car for the brochure, but didn't see it.  I gave up and returned to the store, where Izzy was very close to finishing her meaning-making.  The brochure I had gone in search of was on the table where I put it when we arrived.  Thanks to the passes, coupons and a couple of Groupons that Estelle had, the bill ended up at a perfectly reasonable $8. 
Relieved, I took Izzy by the hand and headed back to the garage.  I told her the reason I had been gone so long was that I'd forgotten where I'd parked the car and had to search for it.
She said, "Bubba, it's on B-1."

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