Too many mental tabs open today.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

American Grrrrr!

One of the reasons I was excited to have a girl? The toys. When I was a kid I loved nothing more than to spend hours with my Barbie dolls. I had so many of them, I had her friends, pets and boyfriends too. My Barbies had a great life, they had a Dream House, a camper, a boat, a car and a wardrobe that rivals any of today's fashionistas. K has a lot of Barbies, in fact after the recent holiday season I had to buy a huge under-the-bed bin for them and I might need another one soon. I know that she doesn't need all of these dolls (the exceptions were the Disney Princess dolls, these she had to have, and she does) but they're fun and I can usually pick them up for $10 at Tuesday Morning. Sometimes we'll take out the bin, dump it out and have a Barbie tea party, or a Barbie dance party, sometimes they have a fashion show and photo shoot, we both love those.

While she adores her Barbies there's another girl in town who has K's complete affection. Her name is Strawberry and she is an American Girl doll. Strawberry joined our family about two years ago after I warned D not to take her into the American Girl store while we were shopping at the Grove one day. After agreeing to a long list of prerequisites K walked out of the store carrying a red shopping bigger than she was. I have to admit she was extremely careful with Strawberry, she patiently brushed her hair, wouldn't let playdate guests touch her and safely strapped her into a seat belt when Strawberry came out with us. Soon Strawberry had some new clothes, accessories, PJs and now she has a new puppy which came home with us today. I like the whole American Girl thing, I like that K can read the books when she's older and learn all about these strong willed independent girls from different backgrounds and cultures. I don't like that these dolls cost a fortune and that a trip to American Girl Place could easily set you back a small fortune if you have lunch, do a photo shoot, get your dolls hair done and pick up some matching outfits (don't forget the accessories!!). Before we went in today I asked K to promise me not to ask for anything today, she replied quickly with "I can't promise that mama, I can't help asking for things in there." Fair enough, I feel that every time I walk into Barneys or Cartier. So without any promises made the three of us walked into American Girl Place, well K and I walked, Strawberry was on her skateboard (bad doll). We looked at all the old dolls, walked past the matching outfits and ended up in the doll clothing section. I heard a lot of screaming around me, some of it from kids and some from parents, K was a real life doll, and then we got to the pets. I forgot about the little dogs, K had been asking for Pepper (the Alaskan Husky) since day one. I told her that she has a million stuffed animals, just use one of those "uh, those aren't real American Girl Dogs mama" was what I always got in return.

So we all stood there, looking at the stacks of Pepper boxes, I looked at K and was met with two sets of beautiful baby blue eyes looking back at me (BTW, Strawberry is a Just Like Me doll, and she looks exactly like K) "he's sooooooooooooooooo cute mama" said one of them. She was right, he was cute and if I could leave that store with just paying $20 making two little girls happy it would be worth it. I told the girls they could have the dog as long as they took care of it and didn't make me carry it when they were tired. Nobody thought that was funny. K was thrilled and grabbed a Pepper box and then stopped with her jaw dropped. "Is that a Golden Retriever???" yes it was, her absolute favorite dog this month, I told her that this dog was a girl and her name was Honey. She looked up and me, put Pepper back and declared "that changes everything, I have to have Honey. She's sooooooooo cuuuuuuuuuuuute. Can I get her instead please? Please?" I was in shock, I thought for sure she was going to ask for both, but she didn't. We bought Honey, put on her pink leash and the four of walked out the store.

Was I really happy $20 for yet another stuffed animal? Not really, but my daughter was thrilled, almost as thrilled when we got Strawberry. So yes, it was worth it, especially this week. Walking the store we watched as tired parents fought with their doll-in-hand little girls, we saw a pretty decent amount of tears and witnessed way too many carpet fits. What is wrong with us? We know what's going to happen why do we keep taking our kids into that store? I told K she wasn't going to get anything, and I was trying to mean it this time. I should be lucky I got off so easy. I know that inside many unfortunate parents ware sitting in that dining room eating terrible sandwiches and being charged $100 (for a family of four) for the privilege, luckily the dolls eat free.

This weekend D had computer problems, so on Saturday we all went to his office in Hollywood and then went to the Grove (home of American Girl) while his files were loading, it was fun, I saw K look at all the little girls with their American Girl dolls, she didn't say anything about it but I knew she wished she had hers. Then today D needed to take his computer to the Mac store (conveniently located, where? yup, the Grove) while today's files were loading, instead of another cake baking adventure I told K to grab Strawberry and we could all go. She was thrilled and immediately changed her doll into a more casual outfit. I knew I was going into that store, I knew that it would be impossible for K not to want something and sadly I knew I would end up buying it for her. I can't help it. I'm addicted to the joy she gets and I get high on giving her that joy. I know it's my fault, I can't really blame it on American Girl.

I can make it easier on myself by telling her that they have vegetables for lunch, that Strawberry's messy hair makes her look more like K (whose hair is always a fright) and that if I buy an outfit for Strawberry, K will have to wear her matching one all the time, not just when her doll does. So today's pure joy total was $20, the doll has a dog, K has a show and tell object for when it's her next turn (another trauma-inducing choice in her life), the woman we passed as we walked out was not so lucky. The grand total for whatever her two girls got was over $400. For a doll!!!

I hope in a few years I'll be able to pick up these babies at Tuesday Morning. We'll surely need a bigger under-the-bed bin for that.

Goodnight K, Goodnight Strawberry, and yes, goodnight to you too Honey. Welcome home!


  1. cute and so true..My A started collecting them when she was 8,7 dolls, 3 pets, a 3 tier bunk/trundle bed and ALL accessories later now at the age of 14 she takes them out every once in a while just to look at them but for a long time they were played with everyday. Expensive..YES but totally worth it =] (mouse)

  2. We're up to 4 AG Dolls and heading to Chicago over Spring Break. V has been saving her allowance (b/c we have told her we are not buying any more dolls) & is planning on buying another one with her own money. Sometimes after she and her friends have been playing with them and they've all been "put to bed," I walk into her room and it looks like an American Girl doll version of Jonestown.