Monday, October 5, 2009

the joy of hugs from other people's children, and how not to make a sit-upon

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.

10 comments:

mountainmelody said...

:) This so sounds like me! I love working with girls--very fun! The hugs are the best!

Melissa said...

Who would have known that a sit-upon could be so controversial! I think the whole experience left me with the realization that my daughter and I are in no way gifted in the seamstress arts. I'm afraid to see her and the little girl's (who I "helped") sit-upons become a torn pile of newspaper bits, stuffing, plastic bags & picnic tablecloths when they try to use them at next outing. But you are right, the hugs are great!

Brandy said...

Haha, this brought back some memories! I made a sit-upon many many years ago when I was a girl scout. My mom was a co-leader too. Good times.

Tamanieces said...

Thank you so much for helping out last night. I think we should let Leah help with the remaking, which we all know will happen. The hugs are great! I also, enjoyed the look on the girls faces when they set down on their sit-upon for the first time and it popped. I have move table clothes, stuffing and can always shred more paper. Wonder what our next craft will be....of course Melissa we will need your help as well. See you tonight at the Leader's meeting.

Jill said...

I wasn't a Brownie and I've never heard of a sit upon, but I would think the point (well, one of the points) would be to interact with others, have fun, laugh and smile. They did that - because of you. Sounds like they didn't care they had blowouts... and as far as Leah go, I say "Rock on creative child!"

Allison McClendon said...

Hilarious telling of a great story! And I see Leah's Waldorf preschool days are with her yet. :-)

countrypeapie said...

Hey MM ~ Your GA tidbits always crack me up. Glad you're feeling better!

Hey Melissa ~ I thought Elli's looked great, and you were smart enough to see the benefit of loose seams! But yeah, I'm thinking we may need a backup seating plan for any future outings....

Brandy, if only we'd had your expertise at our disposal!

Tammy, it was so much fun -- I really enjoyed it. I have about a million beads, some fabric markers, lots of yarn -- surely we can come up with a craft that involves all of those things, because I am ready to get them out of my house!

Hi Jill ~ Yes, I think a good time was had by all. Thanks for encouraging me to return to the blog. :)

Thanks Allison! Leah has a dragon's tear attached to her headboard. It's labeled Redmont Memory.

Lythrum said...

We never did anything nearly as exciting when I was a girl scout. All I remember is them collecting dues and giving us cookies. :)

countrypeapie said...

Hi Lythrum ~ Sorry I'm so slow in responding! I was a Brownie for a while, and all I remember is carving a piece of Irish Spring soap into the shape of a clover and selling cookies. But at one point, we must have made a sit-upon, because I had one with big yellow and red flowers on it, tied together with red string. I even remember sitting upon it once, at some or another event.

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