The 2010 Olympic Mascots, Four Years Later

Approximately fifty-two months ago, something magical happened; that magical thing was the 2010 Olympics. The kids at the time were in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, and they were extremely interested in the Olympics: the events, the location, and the mascots. Especially the mascots. At one of my myriad book fairs, there was a book about the mascots called “Miga, Quatchi, and Sumi: The Story of the Vancouver 2010 Mascots”, and since the purchase of that book it has been perused approximately one million times. But back in early 2010, the boys expressed interest in purchasing one of those mascots. A miserable afternoon trip to The Bay yielded absolutely no results save a few gigantic versions of Miga, but my husband looked online and bought a four-pack of the stuffed animals, which included Muk-Muk, the mascot sidekick. Those mascots went with us on our first plane trip to Palm Desert, and have gone with us on every single trip since then.


Mascots enjoying the warm air of Palm Desert. So far from their homes of Whistler, Vancouver Island, and “The Mysterious Forests of the North.”

Then my husband actually went to Vancouver while the Olympics were on; he lived there in his long-ago youth and went to stay with some friends for a few days to take in the Olympic vibe. He found two kids’ t-shirts that were unavailable at home, that featured the mascots in all their glory. Mark put his on and basically wore it every week for the next forty-three months.


He wore it while blowing up balloons.



He wore it at the duck pond.



He wore it while learning to scooter.



He wore it while hanging out under a shady tree when it was 35 degrees.



He wore it while laughing about the meat market.

Jake wore his too, sometimes, but without the same zeal or passion.


Seaside Quatchi.


Note that Mark is still wearing his.


But alas. All good things must eventually come to an end. For one thing, what was an oversized t-shirt for a kindergartener was now practically a crop top for a 10 year old, and I am not one of those mothers who will stand by while her sons wear a half-shirt. By god, if they want to wear mesh half-shirts and cutoff shorts, they can do it under their own roof. Plus, the shirt was really showing its age due to nearly four years of washings.

He still loved the shirt, as worn out and faded as it was, and I knew I would never donate it or give it away. I read somewhere about making a favourite shirt into a pillow, and so I asked my mom – who is pretty handy with the needle and thread – if she would do this.

Small digression: my children would never, ever ask me to do anything that required basic sewing skills. They know this is not an area in which I excel. In fact, I almost failed Grade Nine Home Ec because of the sewing component. I would sit next to my best friend, humming away at the sewing machine, making her outfit that she was actually planning to wear, while I ripped out stitches over and over until my “project” was cheesecloth-like in appearance and I had to borrow someone else’s different-coloured ribbed material to try to patch things back together. I cannot sew a button on clothing without disastrous results, and the one time I made a yarn-based craft it turned out like this:


Those are supposed to be octopuses, or octopii? I don’t really know.

In any case, my mother agreed to this project, so on the weekend we took the beloved green shirt over to her house where she whipped it into a pillow in approximately three minutes. On the way home Jake mentioned how soft Mark’s new pillow was. How cool it was. How amazing it was and OMG JEALOUS. A quick text to my mother, who pretty much would do anything for her grandkids, and the wheels were in motion.


Proud pillow owners.


Action shot!


The idea did not originate with me, so thank you to whoever came up with this fun parenting idea of the day: turn a favourite shirt into a pillow. If only I had saved all my concert t-shirts from the eighties! I could have a whole bed full of Depeche Mode, Midnight Oil, Grapes of Wrath, and INXS t-shirt pillows! It would add a certain je ne sais pas to my home decor, that’s certain.


  1. Thank the tiny baby Jesus my mother in law is an incredible seamstress (she actually owns a quilt store and has written numerous books, so I mean she is amazing) because I have absolutely no ability to sew. Early in my relationship with my husband, he popped a button on a dress shirt and asked if I could sew it back on for him. I laughed my ass off. I don’t think he realized that there are grown ups out there in the world who actually cannot sew.

    The kids know that if they get ripped clothing or similar Grammie Jean is the person to take things to.

    • Yay, me too. I tried to sew a button on my pants in 2001 and ended up accidentally cutting a huge hole in the butt of those pants. Then I tried to mend that but ended up sewing the pants together. Then my husband found me, sobbing, with my ripped pants and thread everywhere and he made me promise to never try anything like that again.

  2. This post made me smile all over my face. How sweet.

    I wish I’d made pillows out of my New Kids on the Block t-shirts. I could be cuddling up with young Joey MacIntyre RIGHT NOW.

  3. Go grandma!!!
    That is a great idea. I’d have to steal her though because…well…ain’t nobody got time for that.
    My son was never attached to clothing until this year when we bought him a kick as vintage Chewbacca shirt. It’s way too small but he insists that belly shirts are in.
    Easy Britney Spears.

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