This year, I decided to become co-leader of Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama Troop 449. Troop 449 shares its meeting time and space with another troop, so tonight the room was packed as we made sit-upons and square knots.
A sit-upon is like a stadium seat, and making one is very much like making a pillow. So much like making a pillow that I sort of forgot all about the idea of a stadium seat and pretty much started helping them make pillows. A pillow is best when it's very fluffy, and its seams are very tight. This is because your head doesn't support the weight of your entire upper body.
Imagine you're a sweet little brownie scout. You stuff fluff and newspaper into a plastic bag, so that it will be water proof. You don't intentionally stuff air into your plastic bag, but it's there, and you don't squeeze it out, because your co-leader doesn't tell you to. Your co-leader wants your pillow to be fluffy. You tie up the plastic bag, air and all. You put your plastic stuffing bag into your vinyl sit-upon after sewing three sides of the vinyl together. Your stuffing bag doesn't take up all of the space inside the vinyl, so your co-leader helps you tighten and gather your stitches around it. You now have a nice, fluffy, oddly-shaped pillow with air inside of it that can't escape, because you've tied it into the fluff bag. What you have is a balloon-pillow, really. For your butt. Which is all well and good until you actually sit upon it, which if you'll recall is the entire point.
The way I choose to imagine it is that most of the parents were too busy talking to all of the other parents to notice as their dear little brownies proudly sat their dear little butts upon their dear little balloon-pillows and blew them right out -- popped the seams off without even the satisfaction of a whoopie cushion-ish noise to turn it into a hilarious prank.
Now back up a bit, to when the girls selected their pieces of vinyl. Leah got the one piece that had something like 500 holes along the edges. WAY more holes than any other piece. She was very insistent that she use that piece, and began sewing it together. She asked for help only once, when her holes wouldn't align, and she stayed late to finish. By the time she was ready to stuff it, all of the blow-outs were old news. She knew to squeeze the air out, and I knew to leave her stitches alone. So she ended up with the best sit-upon of the bunch. It looks and feels just like a stadium seat. And suddenly I am aware that this could be bad for me. That this could appear as though I have pulled a classic cheerleader's mother's stunt, sabotaging all of the other girls so that my daughter appears to be the best. She even decided to finger knit a handle. Next thing you know, she'll be embroidering her name on the front and adding fringe along the edges.
So yeah, the parents might not appreciate my mad crafting skills (or Leah's), but I think their children actually like me. Several of them gave me happy little hugs, for no apparent reason other than the joy of hugging. Lucky for me, hugs are unbreakable.
Lake effect by Elizabeth Licata
11 hours ago