Every parent who has ever walked by a Build-A-Bear Workshop — let alone been sucked in with their kids — knows the struggle. The endless stuffed animals and pricey accessory options make decision-making near impossible, along with kids' intense need to keep adding more to their "collections."
Sarah Rawsthorne's little girl was first introduced to the fuzzy wonderland while still in utero when her mom created a bear for her unborn baby girl. Now, at 9 years old, Ruby has amassed a collection of Build-A-Bear friends that cost her mom over $6,000 and, understandably, Sarah is completely over the hobby.
"Dear Build-A-Bear Workshop. Today is a day of change, today I make a stand," Sarah wrote in a hysterical open letter on Facebook. "A stand not just for me but for all the other long suffering parents, who like me have endured your stores for years on end."
Before you judge her feelings toward these innocent bears and their stores, Sarah asks that Build-A-Bear "bears" with her as she explains herself. "It's pretty amazing that I managed to crack a joke because today around 3pm, in one of your stores, I lost the will to live," she wrote. "I stood there and took in the bright colors around me and I couldn't take it anymore, Build-A-Bear has broken me."
Back when Sarah made Ruby's first bear 10 years ago, the store felt like a mystery as she walked in. "It was magical, it was beautiful, and it was the start of something I would later in life fear more than anything else," she wrote. "My daughter, Ruby, was given a BAB for her birthdays, she loves it, my child is a BAB addict and I gave her the first hit."
For every occasion, from Christmas to good report cards, there was a Build-A-Bear moment for Ruby that matched it. "By the time Ruby was 5 years old, she had realized that although it was great fun to pick and stuff a bear, there was something far more exciting. Clothing," Sarah wrote. "And shoes and skates and passports and little tiny sleeping bags and hats and wigs and bouquets of flowers and even teddies for the teddies! And clothes for the teddies for the teddies."
For the first few years, this was all fun for both Sarah and Ruby. "But my daughter is 9 years old now and I can confirm that there are more shoes for bears in my house than there are for humans," she wrote. "The bears have a better wardrobe than myself and no, their bum never gets to big for their outfits, the smug little bears!"
Despite doing her best not to swear in this post, Sarah shares that she's definitely muttered "a bad word or two" during her frequent visits to the stores. Despite being the first to admit that this repeated torture is her fault, Sarah has an important message to everyone at Build-A-Bear:
"I give in to it time and time again. I subject my husband to it, I honestly think he might leave me if I make him stuff one more bear. So what is my point? Ok here it is.
When I walk in to a BAB store it's pure hell to me but pure heaven to my daughter. She wants all the bears and the shoes and the little teeny tiny hair clips and all that shizz. I want to fake my own death.
Yet it is me, the parent, the long suffering parent who is standing there in a £2 Primark top spending £8 on a BAB top for a bear that's costing me the best part of £20 who needs shoes, another tenner there, and a passport and god only knows what else my daughter will insist on the bear needing that day. Who is paying for this? Me!
Please don't get me wrong, take my money, I work hard to make my child happy. But please, please, please can you give us an area of the store we can sit and stare at a plain white wall, perhaps even offer us a refreshment, conversation that isn't about a great new smell to shove in the bears bum. I need desperately to be treated like an adult, an exhausted adult who quite honestly can't wait to leave your store.
I can't take one more visit of faking excitement, I am done. It's been ten years BAB, I can't fake it anymore. Please help!"