Friday, May 10, 2013

The Girls

This is a story of adult pragmatism vs. child-heart desire:

The girls have been asking for American Girl dolls for forever and a day and it must be said that our kids don't seem to be deprived for playthings, and if you know anything about American Girl dolls, it is that they are pricey. They are also, though, rather wonderful: more detailed than most dolls, with extensive back stories, many of which are based on historical vignettes. They have a lot going for them if you can overlook the price tag and the cult-like following (and that the brand was sold to Mattel a decade ago and American Girl dolls are all now made in China. But I digress.).

For an unusually expensive request, I wanted to ensure that its fulfillment would be recognized as rare and wonderful, and we told the girls that they could get them at the end of the school year if they still wanted them. It's okay to have to wait for something you want. And anticipation can be a wonderful emotion.

And then, because if we're going to do something, let's do something, I planned to take the girls to the flagship American Girl store in New York City. We would use some of the lovely husband's constantly-accruing hotel points (the ones I used to trade in for locales like Puerto Rico) and go overnight to New York and make an event. And we could go see a Broadway show. And everything would be magical.

The girls were so excited but I couldn't book the trip because we were waiting on some business travel plans of said lovely husband to be finalized. By the time we knew we could go, the Broadway show we wanted to see and our favorite points-redeeming Times Square hotel were both sold out. We could go another time but camp was starting and maybe we'd just go in August...?

The girls didn't know that there is an American Girl doll store at a mall a half-hour from us in Northern Virginia. They were content enough to wait.

Then E received a birthday invitation from one of her very favorite friends, and it was for...take a guess...a child+doll brunch at the American Girl doll store. E burst into tears. Each of the other half-dozen invitees has one or even two American Girl dolls already. She could tell me without thinking who had McKenna and who had Emily and who had Rebecca. She didn't want to go to the party.

Then her friend got upset, because she didn't want to have the party without E. And both girls were crying about a party that should be celebratory, and then we didn't know if we'd even be able to go up to New York in August because the lovely husband has this huge symposium and there are only 10 days between the end of camp and the beginning of school and we've already planned to be at the beach for six of those days and

on Sunday, I took the two girls to the mall in Virginia. The best laid plans, and all, but this was money I had already been willing to spend on them and it was becoming silly to continue holding out on spending it.


Meet Molly and Ruthie. Never have two dolls been ever more beloved in the history of girlhood. They have been more loved than any other toy I've seen cross our threshold, and all my skepticism was entirely unwarranted, and now E can give you a dissertation on the Great Depression and L is an expert on World War II. It is completely amazing to me how much the girls, who have always had dolls, are playing so much with their Girls. Despite all my hesitation, this was a good decision, and it needn't have been so much of a big deal in my head.

E and Ruthie are headed to that birthday party next week. L is planning out our Victory Garden (remember that Molly doesn't like turnips and I don't, either!). And it turns out that the stars have aligned and there is exactly one night in August when calendar, Broadway tickets, and hotel availability are all willing to collaborate for a grand noteverstill girls' and Girls' overnight to NYC. We don't need to buy the dolls, now, of course, but every Girl likes to buy a new frock or two once in a while.


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4 comments:

Lucy The Valiant said...

Love this! Those dolls really are the best - I can't wait until my girls are old enough for them!

Dana said...

Hi Robin,

Though we've never met, I'm sure that we would hit it off fabulously in "real life." This summer we are taking a train from DC to NYC where we will take in a Broadway show (or two!) and fit in a visit to the American Girl store for my nine-year-old girl. Luckily, she has a gift card or two to utilize.

I have a question for you. Do you know anything about Smithsonian Sleepovers? It takes place at the Museum of Natural History. The info on the website looks cool! Just seeking out opinons from those in the general area. I can't find many reviews online. Thanks for any info.
Dana

Lisa said...

Our trip is this July - just to Chicago, not as grand as NYC and Broadway, but we will follow it up with a Cubs game.

Girls have been planning their purchases for months. They each have one AG doll, but this is their first trip to THE STORE!!! Even my husband is looking forward to it (mostly for the Cubs game).

Dana said...

Hi,
Thank you! I've booked us. It will be an unforgettable evening one way or another.

I'm not sure why I'm a "no-reply blogger." I will look into the settings when I have some time.
D