Friday, July 24, 2009

More than I ever thought it could be

I have always had a love-hate relationship with the American Girl Doll phenomenon. On the one hand, I hate the rampant commercialization of the dolls and all of their paraphernalia. The dolls are so expensive, as are all the outfits and magazines and books, and kids can't help be be lured in by the "lifestyle."

On the other hand, there is my life-long love of all things miniature, and I think the dolls and all their gear are pretty cool. If we had the room and disposable income, I might be tempted to have my own dolls doll.

There is an American Girl Doll store about 15 minutes from my parents' house, and on Wednesday, my sister and I took the girls there for a treat. I hadn't initially planned on going, but at the last minute I decided I couldn't miss the fun.

When we got there, Ella went into her quiet mode, clinging to my hand and whispering about everything. Lily, on the other hand, acted like she owned the place, darting here and there and dragging my sister along to see everything.

We had told the girls that each could pick out one outfit and one accessory set. I thought the girls' heads would explode from all of the choices available. Lily zeroed in on an angel outfit, but when I told her she couldn't also get the the very expensive matching flute set, she started her search again. Ella picked out a Depression-era schoolgirl's outfit and backpack set. Lily finally settled on a cute 1950's bikini and sandals outfit and a snack set.

Once we made our purchases, we went to the Bistro for dessert. The Bistro was filled with mothers and daughters and dolls, who had their own high chairs to sit in and menus to order from. We sat at the soda counter, along with Ella's doll Hermione and Lily's doll Ginny. The girls were silent as they watched everything going on.

Ella ordered an ice cream sundae that was almost as big as her head. She didn't even come close to finishing it. (That's Aunt Sarah in the background.)

Lily ordered chocolate cake with ice cream and whipped cream and strawberries. She was too busy looking around to eat much of her treat.

When we left, I asked the girls what they thought of the place. Ella said, "It was more than I ever thought it could be."
So, yes, American Girl is rampantly commercial, but it's also lots of girly-twirly fun. I'm glad I got over myself and went along for the fun. The looks on my girls' faces was worth every minute.


Cathy said...

that sounds so fun! i had a doll with outfits--i used to love to dress her up.

Unknown said...

sigh, I know it means i get to miss the hateful teen years but having a boy means I get to do boy stuff like spiderman and guns, when this girl stuff looks so fun. On my fishing lodge trip, guess what I brought back for my son? a bone from a brown bear. he loved it, moss and all...gross.

calicobebop said...

How adorable! It must have been a delight to see the wonder in their eyes. Good clean fun!

Baino said...

So cute. I don't think we have anything like it here other than a place where you can make your own teddy bear, very popular with kids' birthday parties. Amazing desserts!

*Akilah Sakai* said...

Aw, I know they had a fantasic, memorable time!

ckh said...

How fun. I'm drooling just by reading the treats! I love the AG phenomenon because the characters are so strong and genuinely good people. Great examples for the girls. Of course, all the other things you said are true, too. Virtue at a price.

Glad you had a good time!