Tuesday 20 May 2014:
We were supposed to go to the dental specialist today, with “Cookie”, to get information about what’s been decided on her braces. T. told me that he could not be there. Too many absences from work and his boss who has been absent a lot, has been demoted so, best not be absent if he doesn’t absolutely need to. I drove in to town myself, to meet “Cookie” at 10:30. I was early on purpose in order to check out how much student signs cost at the photo shops. I have dragged my heels with this student sign business. First of all, because of the terrible fact, that I can not find D.’s baby photos! Many years ago, he was whining about me not having started on his baby book, when I had scrapbooked J.’s baby photos and “Cookie’s”. So what I finally did, was digging out all his photos, sitting and writing dates on all the photo bags and sorting them all in order. I scrapbooked two pages and then I got busy with something else. They had been safe under our bed, in a box full of all the family photos, but now they were not safe anymore. My husband who does many foolish things without thinking, carried them upstairs which always is a death sentence for the things carried up there. Where they went to, I don’t know, but through the years, people have come down with photos of D., wrinkled, torn, dusty and it has broken my heart. I paid a fortune developing them. I did not want them up there in the first place. And I have asked T. to go up there, find them and bring them down to safety and he just doesn’t do it. I don’t set my foot up there if I don’t have to, since you do it at your own peril.
Now, I need a baby photo of D., for the student sign and there is none to be found! I went upstairs last week, sweating to death since the place was like a sauna, and emptied out the entire walk in closet, where “Dollie” thought they were. They were not, but I discovered that the closet has been used as a household dump. “Cookie” has cleaned when her friend has been due for a sleepover and now the closet is a mixture of absolutely everything. It’s like a closet out of an American sit com, where they walk up and open the door and then the entire content just falls out. There is a doll pram, a baby bed, outgrown clothes, winter jackets, wallpaper rolls, sofa covers, broken boxes, toys and clothes that people needed during the winter and need now in summer. I did not find the photos though and I told “Dollie” that this will have to be another project for the Personal Progress Program. Otherwise noone will deal with it and just leave it as is. I was in tears during the weekend since I can’t find baby photos nor his first three years. We did find “Dollie’s” official baby photos, taken at a studio and there are also sibling photos from that event. There is one where D. sits beside her, laughing the most beautiful laugh, that has his entire face lit up, holding on to his beloved Alfons Åberg doll. We have decided that if we do not find the baby photos, T. has to try to scan that photo and cut out “Dollie” and J. from the photo. Actually I love the idea, even if he is 3 years old in the photo. He looks so happy! And I know that he will love to have Alfons with him when he graduates. It is our standing joke now, that whenever he feels like we are not listening to him, he goes up talking to Alfons “because he always listens and always looks happy!”.
The sign is supposed to be a surprise for the student. When he rushes out with his classmates and looks for his parents and family, he will notice it. That is when I want my “little” boy to see himself with his beloved Alfons Åberg. And I have come up with this other idea as well. Everyone buys a cuddly toy for the student, which hangs in a blue-and-yellow ribbon, in the Swedish flag colours, and the toy always have a student cap on, as well. I haven’t seen a nice animal so far, so my idea is to buy a tiny Alfons doll, sew on the ribbon that can be bought by itself and also stitch on a student cap to Alfons’ head. I have already found such a little cap! The doll will hang around his neck when they go around town for 2 1/2 hours, at the back of a lorry, singing and making as much noise as possible. He and Alfons will graduate together! Also a surprise for him. My thoughts are that he can take the little Alfons with him on his mission one day as well. On days when people chase him and his companion, or slam the doors in their faces, he can look in to his rucksack and see the happy smiling Alfons and know that Alfons is with him always, listening to his woes. And it will remind him of his home and family as well! So, the doll will serve two purposes. If I can get hold of one!
Today it looked really bleak for all of my plans. First of all, my friend told me how she had already ordered her son’s student sign and that she had been sent this offer for it, where you got a photo book for free if you ordered by the 20 May. I did not receive such an offer even though I have shopped from that company many times and she never has! So I wrote them and asked what this was all about. Why only certain people get an offer. They can forget me shopping from them again after this. They did not return my e-mail! Then T. sent me the photo he had scanned in and it is terrible. All grainy. I walked in, to the photo studio who took the photo, all those years ago, and asked how much they charged for their student signs. The price was so ghastly that I had to back out, saying that I do not have a photo yet. I don’t, but I have one in mind, right?! Then I hurried over to the toy shop who have always had lots of different sizes Alfons dolls, only to find out that they no longer carry them. They told me that the dolls do not exist anymore, that the company has ceased to make them. Now everything felt pits!
I met with “Cookie” and we walked up to the dentist and sat and waited. I phoned T. and told him the story on the sign price and how Alfons does not exist anymore! We both recalled that the museum which had the Alfons Åberg 40 years old exhibition, sold tiny Alfons dolls in their museum shop that year. So, T. phoned them to see if they still had any. He phoned me back and said they had a rattle only, half price, and that he had put it on hold. It was by now time for “Cookie” to go in and find out the verdict on her teeth. They have decided not to pull any teeth, which she got really excited about. First she will receive an elastic band on her back teeth, to make space between them, so they can put on this metal tube on the back teeth where a loose kind of brace can be attached. These braces, she will wear to push back her slight over-bite and she will have to put it on when she gets home from school and wear it at night when she sleeps. I have no idea how she will be able to do this? She will whine immensely every night about it and every morning. What a nightmare! And then, a week after this is all set up, then the railway tracks will be put on. They hope it will all be finished in two years and then she will get permanent metal bars behind her front teeth so the teeth will not wander back to where they were. She will also wear some see through plastic cast during the nights over all her teeth, at that point. I am very concerned about the metal bars, and hope they will not change her speech. She sings so beautifully and she needs the choir for her self-esteem. But she can’t be the only singer out there who has had to have braces????
When we had signed the contract, that she will do everything they tell her, we walked to the museum to look at the rattle. But I hated it. I ran in to this gift shop, for tourists, and found a super expensive Alfons doll that did not even look like the one I want. He did not have the real happy smile, was bigger than the one I had in mind, and I knew D. would hate it. They had had the other kind but were sold out. So it sounded like the doll still exist but who knows? I drove home, not having the time to run to two other possible places. When I got home, I started googling for the doll and found lots of places that have it BUT with horrendous shipping. I did not know what to do, so I started going through e-mails while I was thinking. One of them was from Babyland, where I bought “Gubby’s” silent book and Alfons Åberg plate/mug/bowl/cutlery set. So, I went in on their site and searched for the doll and lo and behold, they had it and do not charge any shipping! I was so happy and I sent for it at once. I don’t dare to hope yet though, if it is out of production now, they might just say they have it and then send me an e-mail and tell me “sorry, but we are out of stock and don’t know if we will ever get it back in”. My usual luck! But here is hoping that something will go my way today!!!!