Brooke loves cheese.
Actually, scratch that. Brooke loves a particular cheese – the Babybel Bonbels, or better known in our house as the Yellow Circle Cheese.
Most days she would be happy eating three or four of those little circles with every meal.
But it has to be the Yellow Wrapped ones…not the red or the orange or the green or the white. My palate really isn’t refined enough to tell a huge difference between the various Babybels, but to Brooke those differences make the difference between edible and non-edible.
So it was to my great dismay about a year ago when my local grocery store stopped carrying the Yellow Wrapped Circle Cheeses. Fortunately, I was able to find another store that carried them. I would make a special trip once every three weeks or so and buy out their supply of the precious yellow rounds.
And then one day, they were gone.
I began to spread my net in search of the suddenly rare cheese, but to no avail. After several weeks, I gave up. To be honest, Brooke wasn’t asking for them, so I decided not to pursue my search. Maybe it was a winter thing, I don’t know, but as winter turned to spring, Brooke again began asking.
Finally, earlier this week, while she and I were at Whole Foods looking for a special cheese for Jess, Brooke asked the cheese lady if they had any Yellow Circle Cheese. She seemed a little confused so I jumped in to interpret.
We were looking for the Babybel Bonbels, I explained. She offered up the other colors, to which Brooke gave the stink eye – gross!
The cheese lady laughed and said she would be happy to order some – come back Friday, she said. Brooke looked at me and said, “we will come back Friday.” I made a mental note and moved on, delighted that finally someone was taking my plight seriously.
Last night one of the last things Brooke said was, “I can’t wait for the cheese tomorrow.” This morning while coming down for breakfast she said, “We have to go to the market after school. They said they will have the yellow circle cheese.”
This morning, after running a couple of errands, I went to Whole Foods. I don’t normally shop there, but obviously they had an important package for me. I paused at the entrance wondering if I should grab a basket, but decided I could easily carry all the Yellow Circle Cheeses out in my arms. I headed straight for the Cheese Department with anticipation on my face.
As soon as I found the Circle Cheese section, my face fell. No Yellow Nuggets of Wonder. Maybe they hadn’t been delivered yet, I thought. Maybe they were keeping them safe for my Brooke so no one else could take them.
I spotted the cheese lady, who looked at me with mild recognition. I asked about the Yellow Cheese. She hesitated. They should be out there she said. I pointed out they were not. She said they had ordered all flavors and had put out everything that had arrived.
My shoulders slumped. What am I going to tell my autistic daughter, I asked aloud. The poor cheese lady, seeing the defeated look in my eyes could offer nothing. I didn’t blame her, but I was so damned mad.
I went home and took to the Internet, looking to see if anyone in a 20 mile radius carried these damned things. I left Babybel a message, I even called their media department. Their online folks were kind enough to respond but ultimately just directed me back to their website, which consequently was of very little use.
I looked at my watch – almost 3:00 – time to face the music. I knew the question was coming. After a quick chat with Brooke’s aide, I told her we needed to get ready for yoga.
“Wait,” she said, “we need to go to the market first. They said they would have the cheeses!” I nearly cried trying to explain to her what had happened. She was disappointed but kept it together.
Walking back to our car, I got a notification on Facebook. My best friend’s mother had called seven grocery stores in search of the cheese to no avail. A friend from Miami sent a picture of the Yellow Cheese at her market that she just happened to be walking by as she was scrolling through her feed. Another Facebook friend in Chicago had seen them there. My best friend even offered to FedEx them from Houston.
All very sweet, but what it all ultimately tells me is that they still make the Bonbels, they simply aren’t delivering them to my neck of the woods!
I’m not sure where I’m going with this other than to maybe ask you to help me convince Babybel and the Laughing Cow that there is a market for their little yellow jewels of deliciousness here in Boston; that there is one little autistic girl who would absolutely love it if they started delivering the Bonbels to the area again. I mean, they already send every other flavor up here already. It can’t be hard to add the Bonbels, right?