Now she is eight.
She had a mission and a list of what she wanted before we got there. This year, her doll was going to the beauty salon.
When we got off the train, before we hit the store, we stopped at the library to re-group.
Best kept secret in New York City-the children’s room of the public library. Please, go there to decompress and wash off the commercialism of it all. There are couches, literacy, clean bathrooms without lines. Only in America do we have long lines to buy M&Ms you could get at the check out of a grocery store but not walk into a famous library with an awesome collection of children’s books.
Next up, Little girl heaven/hell….
About the beauty/glamor/stupidity of it all…..I agree, I should make my daughter shelve cans at a food bank. I should have her write letters to children after an earthquake. I should and do send in mittens and hats for the school drives.
But I also have this to say:
You don’t know what you will do until you are a parent.
Furthermore, if you already have the doll, it’s a lot cheaper to wait in that line to get the doll cleaned up and redone than buy another doll. If the doll has been well loved and played with, then definitely do it.
That’s all I’m saying..now back to my story.
The appointment line is long. Think about the OMG! elf that Crumpet describes in the Santaland Diaries. The good news is that they plan the appointment around your schedule. So once you get to the appointment counter, you might go straight to a stylist or come back after your lunch…
By the time we got to the front my daughter had had enough….she was melting down. The wonderful woman said we could come back in thirty minutes and then go straight to our lunch when we were done. But my child didn’t want to come back in thirty minutes and then go to lunch. Her doll had to have braids right this minute.
Now see, I talk about the hissy fit all the time-but I have never fully explained what I mean when I say that. I am not going to use Google or the Urban dictionary, this is coming straight from me. Every Belle might have her own definition, but here is mine:
I threw a hissy on my daughter and in front of my Connecticut born and raised best mommy friend in the middle of the American Girl Store in Manhattan:
Try to hear a loud southern accent as you read this……
“Little girls from all over the country save their money and wait in this line to have this plastic doll’s synthetic hair braided. You are very lucky that you can hop on a train and be here in less than two hours and that your grandmother and your father gave you extra money for this experience. Now smile, say “Thank you Miss Anne” to her, and we will come back in thirty minutes or I’ll hail us a taxi back to Grand Central Station.”
Frances knows when her time is up-she put on her best smile ever and calmed herself down.
“Thank you Miss Anne-I’ll be back!”
We were able to have a nice little economy/math lesson on how she could buy a few small things or one big thing and she picked the big thing. Fine-that was her choice.
Then we went back to the beauty salon and waited for our name to be called.
While we were there, I made the stylist teach us how to care for the doll. We don’t put glitter pens on the doll, we don’t cut the doll’s hair, etc. and so on. Since I was on a high and mighty roll, I asked her stylist,
“How many countries do little girls come from?”
“Ireland, Thailand, Belize, Italy, India…literally, I’ve worked with little girls from all over the world.”
“Where do the most polite and well behaved little girls live?”
“And the rudest?”
The woman didn’t want to answer me at first, and maybe I shouldn’t post what she said…just in case someone on staff from American Girl is paid to be a lurker…you never know…so I’ll sell out and say all over the world there are rude and polite little girls and geography doesn’t have anything to do with it.
Ha ha ha…
After it was over I made sure my daughter said thank you and I said an extra thank you for making little girls happy.
Of course, my daughter must always have the last word:
Where on earth did she get that spark????
Next time we go into the City, we are hitting Central Park or the MoMa….I need a memory of something else.