Sheriff's Deputy Dad Makes Daughter Her Own Mini Target and Starbucks During Pandemic

The results are adorable and keep Mila entertained while the family is locked down because of the coronavirus.

If you're missing your Target run during the pandemic, Mila Gonzalez is right there with you. 

Mila, who turns 2 next week, loves to go to her local Target with her mom, Cindy Iribe, and her dad, Diego Gonzalez. The family, who also has a 4-month-old baby girl, even has their own little ritual. 

"Every time we go to Target, she already knows it’s time for a cake pop, so she’ll drag us along and bring us to the Starbucks," Gonzalez told 

Iribe grabs a cup of coffee, Mila grabs her treat and the family browses the aisles together near their Bakersfield, California home. So when the coronavirus pandemic canceled Mila's trips to Target, the family banded together to make her something special right in her own playroom. 

"Initially, I brought it up to Cynthia, 'What if we build her a little Target?'" Gonzalez said. "And she gave me that look like, 'You’re going to start a project that you’re not going to finish.' And I was like, 'No, let’s do this together.'" 

Gonzalez is a deputy with the Kern County Sheriff's Department, and his job can be stressful. He recently saved a couple from a home fire, and the COVID-19 crisis has him working long hours. So the father of two saw a DIY project as a way to bond with his family during his time off. 

Gonzalez got the supplies he needed from Home Depot and Iribe used her Cricut machine to make the decals. The couple involved Mila, too, which she loved. It became their moment of zen, they said. 

"Hands-on projects, when you take it to a kinesthetic level and you’re touching things, and I’m pointing out colors to her, and she’s learning new words, that, for me, is definitely relaxing," Gonzalez said. 

After finishing the Target checkout stand, the couple started on a mini-Starbucks kiosk. The results are adorable and keep Mila entertained even as she has to stay at home.

The couple is also thrilled with the reaction their project has received from other families, and hope it serves as an inspiration for others to DIY together. 

"You just don’t have to stay at home and have this pandemic overwhelm you, there are things you can do at home to bond and be together," Gonzalez said.