Monday, January 7, 2008

American Debt Dolls


Hey All! Welcome to the new home of Are You My Mothers. This cyber-duh is going it solo in the blogging world. Hats off to familyequality.org and the others but I've opted for a single-family home so to speak. Come visit. Whenever you'd like.

For today's opener: 5 Year Olds and Addiction

Betsy, daughter age 5, is as addicted to American Debt Dolls as Cher is to fame, as W is to money, as Harry Potter is to Butterbeer. She reads the American Debt Doll catalog in cars, trains and airplanes, on the toilet, at the dinner table (she tries). She talks about American Debt Dolls incessantly. She knows which friend has which doll, knows the pets, beds, and clothes that come with each doll. She tucks her two Debt dolls in to bed each night in their pajamas, props them up against the wall so they can watch her take a bath.

This might sound cute to some of you, developmentally appropriate especially given that Betsy is an only child and Julie and Molly (see above) are more or less surrogate sibs. But for me it's becoming the equivalent of a fingernail against a blackboard - on a good day.

If I have to hear one more story about Julie and Ivy or Molly and Emily every marble is going to fall from my head. I've come close to saying, "Betsy mommy doesn't care about American Girl Dolls." But I know better.

Betsy's favorite pastime is she and I on the sofa with popcorn and hot chocolate reading American Debt Doll catalogs. I do this because I've banned them from bedtime reading.

"It's not reading."

"But it's words, mommy."

"It's like candy, words that are like Nerds or Sweet Tarts."

"But you let me eat candy."

"Not for dinner."

"But this is bedtime."

"Bedtime is the dinner of meals."

The marbles by then have started to slip out of my ears.

I was addicted to things too when I was younger, obsessed over bows and arrows, matchbox cars, and making clay penises for all my boy dolls. But weren't those educational preoccupations? Wasn't I exploring gender? I suppose Bets is exploring something too, girlie-hood and growing up and social relations. But it's so darn expensive. And so darn boring.

Still I made another date for the couch and the catalogs. Soon there will come a time when she doesn't want mommy near her on a date. You can be damn sure when that time comes I'll grab Julie and Molly and trail her like a bloodhound.

11 comments:

Jamie said...

I am SO grateful my daughter could care less about dolls and is outwardly disgusted by them!! Her obsession is snakes and Scooby-Doo. We snuggle watching Scooby and there are just sometimes I have to say NO MORE SCOOBY!! But you're right, there will be the day that I'll beg to watch Scooby with her.

Glad you transitioned over to the solo blog world...a hearty welcome!

Vikki said...

My daughter is only two so we've avoided branding so far...well, except for those darn Barbie underwear I let her have when we were at a potty training low.

Tracy said...

Glad to see that you are continuing the Are You My Mothers blog. I read your previous entries and look forward to reading about the ongoing adventures of Betsy. Our daughters are 2 and 4 and have yet to get into dolls much. I'm hoping to avoid the American Girl phase.

Sara said...

potty training at two?????

there are NO lows at two!! only amazement she's two and getting it!

Ms. Moon said...

One of my daughters had a teacher in maybe the third grade? second? who loved those damn dolls so much that the class plays were all about them! I'm not kidding. It was surreal. I finally caved and got my child one of the dolls, which she had begged and begged for and she hardly paid it any attention once it came.
I think maybe I got the wrong one.
Too bad, huh?

susan said...

Why not leave the catalog on the coffee table and read some of the books with Betsy (assuming you haven't already done that)? The books aren't bad, and are well-researched even if they're a bit formulaic. Of course, my daughter is 15 years old, so I'm talking the pre-Mattel ownership, and 2 or 3 dolls ago, but I'd hate to think they changed the books. She particularly liked the Felicity, Addie and Josefina books. She thought Samantha was stupid, but I think that was a comment on the character not the writing, although I can't be sure. She's gone on to love historical fiction as well as love her history classes. I don't know if that's related to early AG doll exposure or not. I choose to think so, although I could easily be deluding myself and justifying those couple of years of doll obsession, it wouldn't be the first time. Good luck, this too shall pass, and soon enough it will be something else -- just wait until you get to the Gossip Girl series, or whatever will take it's place in a decade.

Robin said...

Thanks for continue to blog. Always enjoy your posts. Robin

kingkong said...

Congratulations on your new blog! I am enjoying it already. Can you eventually get advertisers so you get paid? You're going to need to save up some money, so the American girl dolls can have more outfits and more siblings.

Maybe you could try obsessing over the dolls for a week. Insist on reading the catalogs at dinner, bedtime, every free moment. Bets will lose interest. Of course, I won't be there when this approach backfires!

Monica said...

The link in my favorites bar has been updated! I love your blog!

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