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For Christmas I am creating a play kitchen and grocery store for Emily in our basement.  I sent an email out to family telling them what the theme was for Christmas and recruited their help for amassing play plastic food items to fill up her play fridge. 

I then set out to find the very best play kitchen a little girl could ever have (excluding the pottery barn kids set because it’s just way too ridiculously expensive).  I settled on the Kidkraft All in One Wooden Kitchen.  It was adorable, had a french cafe look to it, and got great ratings for quality and encouraging imaginative play.  Only one problem, it was discontinued.

But, that didn’t stop me. 

I set out to find it, scouring ebay, emailing the maker, tracking down online retailers, you name it I googled it, no luck.  Finally an email response from Kidkraft informed me that Toys R Us was the exclusive dealer for that particular model and although it was discontinued, they still may have some in their ware house.

Ugh…Schlep my toddler on to Toys R Us…the week before Christmas…what am I INSANE?  Yes.  Actually, just a desparate and determined mom.

So, Emily and I made the drive to “toyland”, circled the parking lot for 15 minutes stalking customers who were leaving the store to try to poach their spot before another mad mom in a minivan found it. 

As I rounded the bend past the barbie aisle…there it was…the KidKraft All in One Wooden Kitchen model number 53112.  I had succeeded….my hard work and dedication had payed off, I had saved Christmas.

Oh no, but wait.  There were none available, it was just the display, but I didn’t give up.  I tracked down a sales associate and asked him if he would check with the manager to see if I could purchase the display.  The sales associate came back with a “no”.  But I still didn’t give up.  I said, “What’s your manager’s name?  Can I talk to him”.  He told me to go ahead his name is “Andy”. 

So, I shlepped Emily across the store to made a business proposition to “Andy”.  I found him at the customer service desk, introduced myself, shook his hand firmly, and proposed to take that display collecting dust off his hands so he wouldn’t be bothered by other mothers of toddlers who wanted to purchase the KidKraft All in One Wooden Kitchen Model 53112, but were frustrated because the store didn’t have any in stock.  “Andy” was skeptical at my proposition.  He starting making some calls to confirm that the item was discontinued…but I brought with me hard evidence.  I calmy wipped out my Wing cell phone and displayed the email from the KidKraft themself explaining to me that the item had in fact been discontinued. 

He started to waffle, I went in for the kill.   I pulled the, “This is the only thing my daughter wants for Christmas…and I’m not leaving here until I have it.” routine. 

He said, “Boy, you’re kind of pushy.”

I said, “Yeah well, I don’t quit until I get what I want.”

Eventually he caved and started dismantling the display for me.  “Andy” and his crew spent 20 minutes taking down the display from it’s perch atop the store.  (maybe that’s why he didn’t want to sell it to me…the hassle of getting it down). 

But, we still hadn’t discussed price. 

While he was working hard, I offered my grattitude and well a little bribary.  I informed him that I planned on filling out that store survey they always try to get you to take and give him the highest marks possible.   He liked that.  I also offered to bake him some of my mom’s famouse Chocolate Chip Cookies….he chose the survey…hmmmm….

Once he got it down and I inspected it for quality, he said, “so you want to know the good news about this display?  The maker charges the store 1 cent for it, so you can just have it.” 

WHAT?!  You mean I can have it….for FREE?! 

Yep.

FREE!  The retail price is around $150.

Bonus…it’s already put together.

CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT??????

MERRRRRRRY CHRISTMASSSSSSS! 

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