Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Second verse, same as the first.

I did it again. Though I wasn't quite as tense as last time.

This morning Rachel brought me the little Amy Morris doll, with the leg broken off. She was quite contrite. I know Amy is her favorite, too.
I looked at Daddy. "Well, we need milk and bread anyway. I'll take them to Meijer after speech, as long as Madeleine gets most of her school done."

We had a conference before, the kids and I. "We are going to get milk, bread, and Amy if it's there. Nothing else. Do you understand?" This resulted in a pretty uneventful trip. We even got a prime parking spot, right next to the handicapped. I even had the walkway.
I heard a "Look, strawberries! Can we get some?" in the produce, but I responded with a patient, "What is on our list?" and the voice was quiet. Rachel rode for most of the way, the big two each got a gallon of milk out of the cooler, and we went to the toys where we promptly found the replacement Amy Morris. Probably the last one in the store.
It occurred to me there that The Boy wasn't getting anything. The girls were getting a replacement, he was getting the shaft. That's how I felt, anyway. The way he was browsing around the clearance aisle gave my conscience a pang.
I called him back over and took a knee. "Dale, I'll let you get something. Less than five dollars." His eyes perked up with opportunity. "You know what? You can get five Hot Wheels for five dollars." That was all I had to say.

All that background to tell you about the discussion I had with one of the stockers. The girls each wanted to choose a car and I mentioned getting a pink one for Rachel. "I'm surprised Barbie doesn't have one," the employee said.
"She has everything else," I noted.
"Not really anymore," she corrected. "Barbie only has about four feet [of shelf space]. She used to have a whole aisle. Now it's all Bratz." The displeasure in her voice was perceptible but not too obvious.
We agreed that we didn't understand their appeal, it really does just seem to be endorsing dressing like them, they look trashy. I told of my disappointment about Holly Hobbie, and she added Strawberry Shortcake to the discontinued list. I sighed.

So what does that leave for girls? I won't let Bratz in the house, and am leery of starting Barbie for the same reason. Rachel is three. Dora is rapidly approaching her expiration date. Baby dolls? Stuffed animals? Is there anything else wholesome for my girls to play with? If it's not the lead paint, it's the magnets. Or the coating with GHB. Or it's tarty dolls. Or the never-ending consumerism.

I've heard American Girls are expensive, but I don't know. I've never seen them in stores where I commonly shop. Which means "challenging to get" as well.

Maybe she'll start liking horses.

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At 10:03 AM, Blogger Daisy said...

The My Little Pony dolls are currently working for us. Dora is still liked as the girl on the dishes, but the Ponies are played with endlessly when available. I'm lucky, though. Her favorite toys are Legos. She picks up Barbies at her cousins' house, but has thankfully never asked for one. Sometimes a language delay is a good thing...

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Milehimama said...

You might like the Only Hearts Club dolls from Target. They are girls with pets and a 'story', but they aren't trashy like Bratz and Barbie.
Amazon has them too:

My 6 yo daughter LOVES My Little Ponies and other horses. You can fix their hair. We got ours at garage sales that predate this whole lead/China thing though.
She also has the Fisher Price dollhouse people.
American Girl dolls are quite expensive, but you can get more generic 18" dolls and there are lots of free patterns online if you sew.

At 11:05 AM, Blogger Barb, sfo said...

Target has "American Girl Clone" dolls. Maybe those will work out for you.

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Kasia said...

I will only say this re: Barbie: I can remember being a wee tyke (probably six or seven) and looking at my Barbie doll naked, thinking someday I'd look like her.

You've seen me. I look nothing like Barbie. In fact, at my most slender and shapely, I was 35-28-36. And I constantly thought I was unattractive, in no small part because my bust was so teensy.

Many girls play with Barbie without having similar experiences, but my advice, FWIW, is to avoid it. There's no reason little girls need to be looking at a woman with boobs as big as her head, and developing an unrealistic (for the average woman) benchmark. Kind of like Disney princesses: there's no need for Jasmine to have hair that's three times the width of her waist.

At 12:30 PM, Blogger Heather said...

The aforementioned Angela seems to have started them on Littlest Pet Shop (including The Boy). They look kind of like Bratz with the big eyes and disproportionately small bodies, but they're animals. And they don't have the bling going, either.
But I'll be trying those others from Target, too. Thank you all!

And Kasia--You've seen me, too. Figure notwithstanding, I didn't like Barbie because I wanted one with red hair and BROWN eyes, and the only ones who had brown eyes were the black ones. They looked less like me than the others!

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Kasia said...

Yup - Van Morrison aside, there was just no room for brown-eyed girls in the seventies and eighties, ya know?

Have you looked at Polly Pocket? I don't know how wholesome it is, never having seen it myself, but I know my friend's daughters love her, and she's pretty careful about what she lets her daughters play with...

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Yes, we have some Polly Pocket. They're a less-skanky version of Barbie, but one third the size.

But they've been recalled. Some of the clothes stay on with magnets, and if they aren't properly glued to the clothes, the magnets are a small thing that can get swallowed.
And other stuff has lead paint--I'm not sure which items. I just do my best to make sure the girls don't eat them.


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