Thursday, November 17, 2011

How to Choose a Doll

Over at Faith and Family Live!, Rachel is compiling lists of toys for girls and toys for boys.

Ainsley's short life has already brought a number of iconic mother-daughter moments most of which involve buying something I've always imagined buying for a daughter -- her first tights, her first Christmas outfit, hair accessories. This time last year Grandma bought Ainsley her first doll.

American Girl must regularly hack into medical records to see who has managed to birth a baby of the female gender. I have yet to make my first American Girl purchase, but, let me tell you, we are on their radar, and they are on Ainsley's. I glanced into the living room the other day, and there she sat perusing the American Girl catalogue with keen interest.

We are all about dolls around here. Ainsley's amassed quite the collection. If you are in the market for a doll this Christmas season, here are my shopping tips:

1. See how Dolly looks disrobed. I'm dead serious and really not a sicko. Believe me, Dolly will spend more time naked than clothed. It's worth checking out what you (and your sons, should you have any) will have in view 24/7. Some dolls are, er, more anatomically correct than others. Their presence may elicit more butt jokes than you care to tolerate. These dolls are best confined to single sex households.

I have a friend who took a Sharpie and drew bras and panties on their Barbie dolls. I totally get that.

2. Consider the hair style. I think this is a case of You get what pay for. American Girl dolls are designed for girls who like to do hair. If you live in a big city, you can visit the American Girl stores and have Dolly's hair done professionally. A basic up-do will set you back about twenty bucks.

Ainsley's favorite Dolly has plastic molded hair. This is entirely washable and not prone to knotting. Her second favorite Dolly sports wavy, golden locks that are very prone to knotting. In a vain attempt to de-tangle, Dolly has lost some hair and now is dealing with some serious female pattern baldness. The long term prognosis, folically speaking, is bleak indeed.

Bottom line: If you get a Dolly with hair, spring for the American Girl.

3. Talking dolls have their drawbacks. Ainsley's favorite doll laughs, cries, and says "Mama." She has also taken one dive into a bubble bath and survived a near-swirly experience courtesy of her owner's older brother. Bad news for the voice box.

4. Washability is key. Dolly has also captured the essence of wet diaper. Maybe during the near-swirly? I've doused her with Febreeze, but she remains a tad malodorous.

5. Skip most of the accessories. If you don't like clutter, the pacifier, bottle, cell phone, hat, tiara, ruby slippers, comb, and brush may eventually fray your nerves. Some accessories don't actually work. Why have a pacie if it won't actually go in Dolly's mouth?

6. Spring for the better stroller. If your daughter's old enough to push a stroller, she'll want to ride in it as well. It won't hold her weight! Or her older brother's!

A few lessons learned. Lots of fun to watch.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, dolls do become real members of the family, and for years after they cease to be played with as such.