Saturday, June 7, 2008

American Girls


To celebrate the end of Kinder - garten and the accomplish - ment of some independent work I challenged Julia to do, I took her to Dallas to the American Girl Boutique and Bistro (a.k.a. “The American Girl Store of Let Us Overcharge You for Everything Because We Can”). We tagged along with two other moms who were rewarding their daughters for the same kind of thing. Wanting to give Julia a little extra incentive, I told her for each work/activity she did beyond what was required, I would give her a dollar to spend. Once the abstract concept became crispy dollar bills in her piggy bank, she earned exactly 41 bucks. By the time our little day trip came around, the money was burning a hole in her little pink purse. Julia took her American Girl doll, Samantha, with her nappy hair (or “well-loved” depending on one’s perspective). She had high hopes that they could revive her brunette locks, returning them to their previous silky just out-of-the-box texture. (They forgot “Beauty Shop” in the naming of this place.)

We walked in and immediately all of our little girl’s expectations were met AND exceeded. The spacious show room was beautifully lit and covered with a rainbow of red- every shade imaginable, from deep maroon right down to the palest pink. All the dolls and every outrageous, darling accessory were wonderfully showcased from Native American dolls to modern day. There were cute friendly sales girls anxiously awaiting to show the girls around.
In the beauty shop, there were miniature pink salon chairs and pictures of different doll hairstyles from which to choose. We left nappy- headed Samantha with Endia and began our $41 shopping spree-except we only had $31 at this point. (The hairstyle was $10.) After pricing the first thing she wanted to take home, she was wishing she had done more work instead of eating, playing and sleeping. Thirty one dollars wasn’t going to go very far.
By the end of our shopping (and if Mr. Webster ever shops with Julia, he will have to re-write the definition), I found myself thinking $22 was a bargain for a pair of miniature silky Asian inspired pj’s. I mean, this outfit even came with slippers! A steal, indeed! What?! I needed to get out of there. One thing I have learned about Julia this year is that making decisions doesn’t come easy for her, so after looking at EVERY little overpriced thing, she narrowed it down to four things which totaled well over $100. She had to make her choices. I did my darndest to keep my mouth shut, and let me tell you, it was hard. Excruciating, actually. Get ready for this-- the nauseating part. She wound up choosing a pair of slippers for $8 and a lunchbox that came with four pieces of rubber food for $20. Oh, and how could I forget the little 3”x 3” handkerchief? Her total at the register was $41.14- hairstyle and all. In true Julia-style, she had an opportunity and made sure she experienced it fully and then some.

Lunch in the upstairs bistro was as prissy as it sounds--very “bistro-ish” and tailored-made for Moms, daughters and the dolls. They provided chairs that hooked to the table so the dolls could sit and stare at their own miniature menus. The food choices were the perfect mix for two different generations and I was impressed with their grown-up presentation and tasty entrees.

Even though I was disappointed there was no clearance rack at the American Girl Store, the day was exactly what I had hoped it would be- a reward that communicated I was proud of her. That was enough but I was surprised by how happy I was when we picked up Samantha from the beautician. She really did look great. Her hair no longer looked like steel wool and Julia beamed as if she had a brand spanking new doll. Julia accomplished something else on this trip. She already has her birthday and Christmas list ready..........for the next 5 years, according to budget. Needless to say, she is anxious for the next visit to this cute girly store and ready to work for a much fatter piggy bank.

9 comments:

Lesli said...

Oh, that looks so fun. We are taking my daughter to the Los Angeles store in July for her 5th bday. She (and I) are reading all the chapter books together and have completed 5 sets so far. She really wants Samantha & her best friend Nellie so my mom and I decided we would go in together and fork out the (gulp) $205 for both dolls. The restaurant seemed a little expensive (like $22 a person)was it worth eating there? We haven't decided on that yet. Thanks for sharing the pics.

Krista said...

Thanks for stopping by, Lesli. In Dallas the 3 course meal was 14.50- for mother and daughter- each. The food was yummy. The meal's cost was no surprise after shopping in the store!

Raechelle Ivy said...

Oh how I wish they had those when we were little!!!
I can't wait to the new movie comes out June 20...I may even try to drag Holden....
http://www.picturehouse.com/kitadvance/

We had CABBAGE PATCH DOLLS!!! The real ones were just as expensive!!!

"Bluebonnet in the snow" said...

That place looks like a little girl's dream come true! I'm so glad you celebrated Julia's "graduation" of sorts. Now we need to celebrate your feat in teaching her!

Kathie said...

How fun for Julia!! (and you) I sure would have loved the experience when I was a little girl, my dollies were special and so loved they were falling apart! No doll hospital back then.....
Kath

spaghettipie said...

Okay, I'm not sure I can ever bring myself to do that, but what I love about this post is how much you are teaching Julia to be a little girl. . . down to the cute dress, fussy lunch, and trip to a store all about dolls!

Anonymous said...

NOT MUCH DIFFERENT THAN HER MOM!! LUV BSD

Tori said...

How fun! When I was little, we never got to go to a store, everything was a dream in the AG catalog. Julia's dress is just beautiful! I'd love one like it, haha!

Shannon said...

What a great way to celebrate the end of the year! I love how she had been earning money to put towards this all along. I'm going to have to copy that one for next year!