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.
*DAMMIT TO HECK*
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.