Ella has been into challenges lately.  We have “challenged” her with things like not asking for yet another book in the car until we reach a certain time, finishing her sandwich at lunch, etc.  She likes the idea of challenges and it works better than just telling her to pipe down or eat up already.  Not that I am that brisk, ahem.

Well, she turned the tables on me today and she didn’t even realize it.  My challenge, should I choose to accept it, is to take this veritable cacophony of fabrics and sundries and make them into one cohesive and not too garish bag for her first year of preschool.

I will give her credit.  She never wavered from her initial vision.  She wanted a pink and blue bag (done) and she wanted a cat on it (SO done).  I chose the denim, because something, at least this one thing, had to be practical and calm.  Ella grabbed that pink star material in the upper right and would not let go of it.  Literally.  She kept telling me to “put that other one back there”, referring to my putting the denim in the back of the cart where she didn’t have to look at it.  Apparently our ideas of what constitute unsightly are a bit different.

After going back and forth about what fabrics would compliment the pink stars, I finally had an epiphany and busted over to the animal fabrics, gave her 3 cat fabrics to choose from for the lining and *tried* to match everything to that.  She insisted on the blue straps (heaven help me) and I managed to talk her out of gargantuan ric-rac and she settled, somewhat begrudgingly, on the smaller version.  The 5 fabrics on the left are leftover from a pack of fat quarters I purchased a while back, and I will try to work one or two of them in.

Partway through our trip, I noticed that I felt nauseated.  Did I forget to eat breakfast?  No.  Did I eat something strange?  No.  I was anxious.  What I was feeling was mild panic at the thought of being able to make this thing look cute.

Yes, I basically knew what I was getting into taking a 3-year-old to the store to pick out her very own fabrics.  I could have just made her a bag with a sensible rainbow and puffy white clouds with silver-stitched linings and she would have loved it.  But it would not have been her creation.  It is her very first year of school and I want it to be special … and I am really hoping that she will forget this experience by next fall when I make that rainbow bag.