Thursday, November 6, 2014

American Girl - Should I or Shouldn't I?

The dreaded catalog arrived at our house a few weeks ago.

Moms of girls know the one. The one full of tantalizing dolls and wholesome scenes and bountiful accessories.

American Girl.

Now we're not American Girl newbies. In fact, I had American girls when I was a kid. I was bordering on too old for dolls when they came out, but my sister and I were the proud owners of the original Kirsten, Samantha and Molly. Felicity too, I think. They're (hopefully) still buried in my parents' basement somewhere, because I really want to pass them on to my girls.

Even the girls aren't AG newbies. Madison has a Bitty Baby (named Charlotte, after Laura's rag doll from the Little House books) and each girl has a Bitty Twin (Madison named hers Annie and Reagan hasn't named hers yet). I've read all the Kirsten, Samantha, and Molly books to Madison and she's been fascinated.

But I'd remained firm on two points.

1) The girls were not ready for the "real" American Girl dolls and

2) Their first "big girl" doll would come from the NYC store, preferably on a girl's day out trip with the grandmothers and cousins when all the girls were ready to handle it.

Well, the catalog arrived and Madison pounced on it. She "read" that "magazine" from cover to cover, and when she got to the Girl of the Year feature, she froze.

Because the Girl of the Year is a dancer.

Now, if you've been paying attention, you know that Madison is also a little dance obsessed. In fact, she's even on her studio's dance team. She dances 3-4 hours a week in class and comes home to dance around the kitchen. She loves it, and she seems to have at least a little bit of talent for it, considering she is by far the youngest one in her classes.

Madison. Wants. This. Dancer.

And her outfits. Because she has a leotartd! And a tutu! And a ballet sweater! And ballet shoes! And a dance bag!

And her accessories. Because she has special makeup! And a barre!

Just like me!!!!

And Adam and I are so torn.

Because naturally, she's the Girl of the Year. She's only available until December 31. We can't wait on her and decide that next year, when Madison is five, is a better time to see if she's still interested. Either we get her now, or we don't get her at all. Sure, we could probably find her on eBay, but you never know.

Which is exactly what AG wants us to think. Well played, AG marketing.

We're tossing around the idea of getting her and storing her for a while. Maybe until Madison's fifth birthday.

But then I come to my senses and think, are we really about to spend THAT much on a DOLL (and accessories!) for a FOUR year old?

I'm so torn. On the one hand, Madison really loves dance. And really loves dolls. She's started taking care of her toys so much better these days. I really think she'd love this toy. This is such a perfect AG fit for her first "big girl" doll. It's everything she loves, and it's only available now! And why should she wait until all the little girls are ready?

On the other hand, there are knockoffs available for a fraction of the cost. Granted, they aren't as good, but what knock off is? And she's four. And she has a little sister who is not quite as careful with toys. If she doesn't play with this doll 24/7, are we going to hold it over her head forever? Are we seriously going to lay out a buttload of cash, when we're already buying Christmas gifts to get her a toy we're going to store for months?

As of now, we still have a few weeks to decide. We're talking through a few scenarios and trying to figure out what to do.

Weigh in, readers. You have a little, dance obsessed, doll loving girl. What would you do?

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