January 10 13

Every year when I ask the kids what they’d like to put on their Chrismukah wishlists, I am mostly unsurprised by their answers. Emily’s wish list includes at least three pairs of black boots “I mean, they are for different things, Mama. I need Orphan Annie black lace-up boots, combat boots, and Uggs. Obviously” and various smelly clothing articles from Abercrombie and Fitch. Josh’s list is always very precise, including direct links to each and every unpronounceable thing he absolutely needs to have. Also, LEGO and Skylanders usually make an appearance.

Isabella—every year—asks for exactly two things: Cake decorating accessories. American Girl doll.

And somehow the American Girl doll wish gets removed from the list before it makes its way to various grandparents. *whistles* I can’t imagine how that happens.

If we’re being honest, though, I have absolutely nothing against American Girl as a rite of passage of a little girl’s childhood. I think it’s adorable and you can make a doll that looks like your child and I really like the historical/cultural aspects of the dolls. The dolls—in comparison to say, something like Bratz—are age-appropriate and wholesome-seeming.

The reason that I someone else, of course   end up removing her request from her list is because of one thing: $$. It’s because I know about childhood addictions to doll-related things—my sister and I used to drown underneath our piles of Cabbage Patch Kids and we used to have a Barbie ROOM in the basement of the house we grew up in. A ROOM, complete with more than one dream house and campers and sports cars and horses and accoutrements.

You are suddenly feeling sorry for my mom’s and stepmom’s pocketbooks, are you not?


There are so many questions here—where do we start? She’s wearing brownish-orange-ish overalls or is it an apron? It that a plaid…dress? It looks like I’m holding a straw hat in my other hand. Little House on the Prairie, perhaps? But that sure doesn’t look like Laura Ingalls Wilder, does it? Where are the whites of this farmer doll’s eyes? Is she an orphan? Is she from Annie? Molly, possibly? MYSTERY!

I just knew that once we crossed that American Girl doll threshold, we could never go back. We’d be entering a life-long commitment to buying things like matching jammies and beds and bedding and pets and extra outfits and souvenir sets and ice skates and bicycles. We’d have to visit the stores and we’d have to deal with possible American Girl Doll hospital visits (these are a thing, you guys.)

But then, this summer, while in bed cuddling, she looked up at me with those big brown eyes.

Her: Mama, do you know what would just make my life more than perfect? A Rebecca doll.

Me: Really? How come? I mean your life is pretty much already perfect.

Her: Well, she’s just like me, you know. She has brown hair! She’s Jewish! She loves New York! And she has brown hair! I would really just love her so much if she came to live in our home. I would be really special to her.


Isabella gets an American Girl Doll

I mean, she’s basically the happiest child in all the land.

And I guess I’m pretty happy too.

Until I am forced to visit a damn doll hospital. Because American Girl Doll grandparents really need to draw the line somewhere.

  1. im pretty sure theres going to be a trip to a certain michigan avenue store this summer.

    Comment by obabe on January 10, 2013
  2. Oh, I am fairly certain that will be happening. HALP!

    Comment by ali on January 10, 2013

    I’m kind of thankful that American Girl dolls have been off my girls’ radar. Although, I have to admit, they ARE really neat and they would LOVE THEM.

    I hope Isabella’s doll stays out of the hospital. 😉

    Comment by Jen Wilson on January 10, 2013
  4. Skyler loves hers! That face on Bella is worth it!

    And, as an Auntie, I love it because shopping for her i easy! I can always get her something for her doll and she’s OVER. THE. MOON.

    Comment by Kristabella on January 10, 2013
  5. And then you HAVE to get Rebecca’s ears pierced, at the store…and earrings and a tea and and and. It never STOPS. Although, they are seriously gorgeous dolls. I only wish my kid would enjoy hers more, but she’s more obsessed with Barbie and Bieber. My life is cool.

    Comment by Spring on January 10, 2013
  6. Those American Girls are pretty healthy kids. Mine’s been around since the 80s, and she still looks great!

    And I suppose next year it will be a stay in the American Girl suite in NYC, no?

    Comment by Camels & Chocolate on January 10, 2013
  7. That is the face of a HAPPY girl. So cute.

    Comment by Rhi on January 10, 2013
  8. Awwww. One of Emily’s friends got one, and I may have to get Miss Emily one next year.

    Comment by Angella on January 10, 2013
  9. I kid you not, I had the huge eyed doll. Will look for her tomorrow and show you!

    Comment by Loukia on January 10, 2013
  10. did you know that Target sells accessories for their “Our Generation Girl” dolls that happen to fit American Girl/Maplelea Dolls?

    I couldn’t stomach the $110 Maplelea Doll (although I’ve seen a few and they’re lovely) for my 6 year old, so we got the one from Target. And she is just as much loved and played with as a Maplelea one is.

    Michael’s also has doll clothes and you can use your 40% off coupon.

    I wonder if there’s a cupcake baker doll accessory kit somewhere. I’m sure it exists…

    Comment by suze on January 10, 2013
  11. I always, ALWAYS wanted an American Girl doll, and never got one. So I am pretty much counting the days until Annie is old enough to appreciate getting one.

    Comment by Heather on January 10, 2013
  12. I got an AG doll when I was 9 and absolutely loved her. I have Kirsten, the (now retired) Swedish immigrant/pioneer. It was less commercial then than it is now, this was before the “Girl of Today” line was introduced and the historical dolls had WAY more clothes, accessories, and focus on their stories in their own time periods.

    I bought my step-daughter McKenna for Christmas this year and pulled out my doll and her things so we could play together. I have aprons made out of scraps of fabric that are handsewn in my uneven, 11-year old stitches, I learned how to sew making doll clothes, mostly by hand (and with help from my Mom). The last few weeks have found my loving my doll and all the memories I had with her even more, frankly, a $100 dollar toy that will last 20+ years and bring these kind of memories and warm fuzzy feelings? Totally worth it. Thing of it in terms of a smart phone, which cost upwards of $400 dollars and will perhaps only last for 2 or 3 years, if you’re careful, and if technology doesn’t advance too much. $150-$200 per year for a doll/acessories can buy your daughter hours and hours of imagination and good playtime and she will cherish that doll. As Mastercard says, “priceless.”


    Comment by heidikins on January 11, 2013
  13. Oh my, that child is so adorable.

    Comment by J from Ireland on January 13, 2013
  14. Yep. Miranda is always on that damn website. Grrrr. A friend of hers brought her one back from Chicago a few years ago….now we have Australian Girl dolls…and guess what? The American Girl stuff is a bit too small!!!! Love them though…and guess what? Her room is still filled with Batbie!

    Comment by Heidi on January 16, 2013
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