The other day, I was in the fabric store and as I thumbed through the pattern books, two small children came and were graciously placed on the stools by a perusing parent. I felt their pain as they swiveled around wishing time would fly on by. I remembered those days during my childhood as I waited on my mother to finish her browsing episodes.
I recall sitting there with absolutely nothing to do as each tortuous moment crawled by as my mother slowly turned the pages looking at patterns from Simplicity, McCall’s, and Butterick’s or Vogue. It took me years to return to a fabric store and even then, I made my visits as short as possible.
The books are humongous and it can be a small child’s greatest nightmare as he or she tries to be good and dutiful in such a non-child friendly environment. As fate would have it, the little boy, about five years old, sidled up to me and started showing me what he was doing. He must have felt my school marm past and knew that I would take pity on his plight.
He and his younger sister took out the small sheets of paper that customers normally use to write down pattern numbers. They used them to draw and write on. I loaned my pen to the little boy and he wrote some of his alphabets and started a conversation. I listened to what he shared and helped him spell a few words. I truly empathized with him!
I found the boy’s section of the pattern book and showed him some pictures of little boys dressed as pirates so he would understand that even in a situation such as this, there was something for him as well. His little sister was further down the aisle, using up the slips of paper. I continued my search and made a quick pattern selection and I noticed another kind woman who gave the children a little special attention.
I humorously shared my observations with my cousin and she chuckled. She had the same memories about the fabric store when she went there as a child with her seamstress mother. Bottom line? To the parents, I would say when taking small children to a fabric store, pack up some coloring books, crayons, puzzles, word searches or SOMETHING! Then the little ones can remain occupied while they wait for the pain to end!!
June 3, 2015