Friday, October 9, 2009

Service with a Smile

In terms of customer service, Land’s End has it down. First of all, the person who answers the phone, and it is a real person, always sounds like your Grandma. Or the woman you wish you had for a Grandma. She sounds like she’s just made oatmeal raisin cookies. Okay, so in my case, that would be my Grandfather, but you get the idea. She sounds, well, warm and plump, with “set” hair and a ruffled apron. She always has a pleasant “little pink houses” accent—Minnesota, I think?
Second, she’s patient. You never hear phones ringing in the background, or that edge to her voice that warns you that she has other customers and if you can’t find that item number quick she’ll cut you off and you won’t get your snowbibs after all and your bountiful bottom will freeze when you play in the snow with the kiddies. In fact, the way she sounds, you’d think you were Land’s End’s favorite (and, perhaps, only) customer.
The last phone call I made, L.E. Grandma enthused over my choice of a white squall jacket and ice blue coordinating ski gloves and fleece hat. You’d think I had just put together the most gorgeous skiing combination ever. The fact that I do not ski, have no intention of skiing this year, and only bought the coat because I have a nursing chest and post-partum belly did not occur to me, either. When she said, “Ohh, lovely!” I saw myself shredding the slopes, toothy grin and all.
L.E. Grandma also approved of my decision to buy the 4 year old a pink coat but the navy snow pants and boots. Why? Because I have a boy who will eventually want to be outside, and I’m thinking I can’t get away with pink everything. So, he’ll have a new coat, but hand-me-down everything else. After all, no point in spoiling the child. (There’s a long family squabble about the amount of money per item spent on the boy child my mother loved better than anyone else. We know she loved him more because none of us got $200 shoes. Never mind that he only had 2 pairs of shoes and we had, between us, the whole DSW factory. Don’t you love it when a completely non-related topic turns into an airing of my teenage angst?)
L.E. Grandma shared a story of her daughter bundling up her granddaughter in a blue jacket, blue bibs, blue gloves, hat and boots. When she toddled off to play, she looked like a giant blueberry. L.E. Grandma and I laughed at the image and I felt a kinship, a bonding. I wonder if she wants to have tea sometime? Maybe she’ll bring oatmeal raisin cookies.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

She Said

The four year old does not like to be cute. Cute is little kid, and she’s a big sister (when it suits her.) When it comes to getting dressed, getting in bed, or doing chores, she is, of course, still a baby and can’t possibly be expected to do that sort of stuff on her own. However, when she says something cute, no one is allowed to react. If we smile or laugh or tell her she’s adorable, her face turns eggplant purple, veins pop out of her neck and she screeches, “STOP SMILING AT ME! I DON’T LIKE THAT!” Which, of course, makes us smile more. So, in order to pass along the charm of the child before she can read my blog and scream about what I write, I’m posting a brief outline of some of the things that she’s said that have made me smile. But I haven’t let her see me. Because no one wants the cute kid to turn into Damien.

When asked what she’d done that day at preschool: “I drew a picture of a carantula!” (They were studying arachnids and it was tarantula day.)
Practicing the songs for an upcoming performance: “Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the cantaloupe play.”
Working on an online puzzle: “They make these puzzles hard for little Chrissies.” (Okay, that isn't her real name. But this blog is public and I'm old enough to be cautious.)
Unsolicited comment about sleep diapers: “I’ll try to wake up dry.”
Whenever she’s had enough of adults talking she rolls her eyes and says: “Blah blah blah!”
Said to a friend of hers on the way to preschool: “I’m a thinking child.”

Things the 6 year old said when she was 4:
Referring to a penguin movie: “They sweetie me with their penguin ways.”
Having chosen the fabric for her curtains: “I’ve already put all my love into this one.”