She’s an American Girl

I don’t know how you approach Christmas gift-giving with your children, but we typically get each of ours a Big Thing and then a few smaller ones.  We don’t go crazy but Luke and I love surprising our kids with the best we can manage because for the most part they are grateful.  Don’t get me wrong, they ask for some things that are extravagant (ponies, 4-wheelers, laptops, etc.) but they will also ask for things I consider everyday essentials.  For example, Boy Three has requested lead pencils this year.  Lead pencils.  As opposed to quill and ink?  I didn’t know there were any other kind.  And also, we must be experiencing some pencil shortage I don’t know about because last time I checked the desk drawer was overflowing.  I could simply cross that one off the list but because I think it’s so sweet, you can mark my words I’ll be shopping for the coolest lead pencils EVER.  Better than he could ask or imagine.  And all because I know he was content to ask for this small thing. 

{I’m feeling a sermon illustration all wrapped up in that somewhere but I’ll spare y’all my trying to dig it out right now.}

It was sad for me last year when I realized the boys were no longer asking for Nerf Guns or Rescue Heroes or John Deere tractors.  Now everything is an electronic gadget or a game to play on said gadget.  Or some type of knife or weapon – particularly air soft guns.  {Do any of your boys play air soft?  Do any of your boys spill the pellets onto the hardwood floors and do you lose your mind every time you hear one roll across the room?}   Since the boys have graduated toys, I’m treasuring these last couple of years The Girl is interested in them.

For the past 3 months, she has been asking for an American Girl that “looks just like me, momma!”  I have to tell you that I got The Twitch when I looked on the website and saw the cost.  However, it was the only thing on her list except for an Easy Bake Oven and Taylor Swift cd.  Don’t know how I feel about giving that to her.  Right now, I’m just grateful she is over Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus who needs to just quit waving the name of Jesus if she is going to pole dance and give props to Britney in that ridiculous Party in the USA song.  Just sayin’.  Let’s move quickly from that soap box.

So back to the American Girl doll.  My girl picked this one from the Just Like You collection because, well, it looked just like her.  I ordered her, twitched some more at checkout,  but was then oddly comforted by the fact the rest of her list could be bought with $50 or less.  I was excited I’d gotten that taken care of early (miracle) and then began studying up on all the expectations that come along with owning the doll.  Come to find out, I’ve done my daughter as well her new friend an injustice if I don’t drive them both to the Atlanta store for a luncheon and a trip to the hair salon.  It’s positively neurotic. 

I made our reservations  for the end of January.

All that said, The Girl and I were at Walmart a couple days after I placed the order and I decided to take her through the toy aisle just to see if there was anything else she might like since we’ve not toy shopped in a very long time.  That’s when we found Kaitlin – a lovely Best Friend Club doll posing as an American Girl.

Would you like to know what The Girl said when she saw her?  “I love her a whole lot more than the American Girl because she has a diary with a lock on it!” 

Let me walk you through what I was thinking in those split seconds:

1.  This doll is $29 instead of $95.   I could have gotten away with spending 1/3rd less cash and she would have been just as happy?

2.  In addition to spending a stinkin’ fortune on the doll, I’d already bought into the powerful delusion of The American Girl World.  A world where good mommies buy their daughter’s plastic friend a $15 salad and pay more for her pj’s than I spend on an entire outfit. 

3.  The power of this delusion also caused me to be sickly disappointed that my American Girl dreams were flying right out of the window because there was no way the AG people were going to serve this impostor nor fix her hair.  Alas, it appeared I would have to cancel that reservation.

So what to do?

I talked to Luke to get his advice because dudes always know how to handle doll emergencies.  And with a love that can only be described as scandalous towards his only daughter he said, “Let’s give her both.”  We reasoned that since the doll was already paid for, it would take weeks to get her returned and then see the money back on our debit card.   And besides that, The Girl changes her mind almost as much as she changes shoes and purses so there was still hope yet that she would turn her heart yet again to the doll who was Just Like Her. 

And I was right.  I told her I had called Santa to change her Christmas List from the AG to the BFC doll.  She said, “You don’t know Santa’s number.”  And I said, “Yeah-huh, I do.  They give it to moms at the hospital when they have their first baby.”  She said, “Seriously?”   I said, “Well, of course.  Everyone knows that.”   She said, “Well, will you call him again and tell him if I have to pick one that I want the American Girl because one day I want some pajamas to match her?”  And I said, “Yes.”   And just like that we were back on.

 So on Black Friday, I was delighted to find a Kaitlin doll to add to the baby girl’s collection.  I know it is positively western of us to do such a thing.  But the truth of it is, my girl is an American Girl who thanks God every night in her prayers for giving her ‘all of the things that lots of kids don’t have.’   The thing is, she doesn’t deserve either of them but in a show of grace is getting them both.

And I  like to think God is okay with that.  

However, it is still unclear what He’s going to think about that trip to the Hair Salon.

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