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The Baby Doll Debate

Lydia’s third birthday is quickly approaching.  So is my trip to Chicago.  Do you know what’s in Chicago?  One of the largest doll stores in the country.  Not just any doll, but the American Girl doll.  I know a lot of people my age had American Girl dolls when they were growing up.  Me?  I didn’t even know they existed until about 10 years ago(although the company started in 1986).  These dolls are high-quality, made-to-last dolls.  They even have a doll hospital that can do anything from ” general cleaning to ‘major surgery’ “.  I know of someone recently whose dog chewed up the doll’s hand.  She(the doll, not the girl) was sent to the hospital and returned as nice as new.  Even though that service is provided for a cost, I have to admit that it would be nice to have your very own doll back.  And I know from seeing other people and their dolls…they last.  They don’t turn black in the sun(we’ve already had one doll do this to us).  They don’t come unstitched easily(we’ve also done this).  They can tolerate “hard” play.  (And with Lydia, there’s lots of hard play!)  Oh?  And did I mention that they also have hair stylists for these little beauties.  I remember how knotty and gross the hair on my dolls used to get.  Well, if that happens, there are people to fix that(also for a price).

But then I look at the prices, and I think:  Am I really going to spend a that much on a doll?  Is she really old enough to appreciate it?  She’s three.  THREE.  And the extra services are nice, but are they worth it?  Could you just buy a new doll for the price of the hospital visit.  I’m pretty sure they don’t accept insurance.

I’m really torn on this.  It seems almost ridiculous to buy an expensive doll for a three year old.  Should I wait until she’s bigger, older and will really be able to appreciate it more?  Am I pleasing her or me?  And if I do get one, is it one she’ll want for years to come?

But there are a lot of pluses, too.

And Carter did get a train table for his third birthday…with trains and tracks(they were Target brand versions of the Thomas the Tank Engine trains & tracks).

So, enlightened readers, do I:

  • buy an AG doll and AG clothes/accessories
  • buy an AG doll and buy knock-off clothes/accessories
  • buy a knock-off doll(which is about half the price) and AG clothes/accessories
  • go knock-off all the way…doll, clothes and accessories

*I asked my facebook friends what they thought and they were split 50-50, so you guys were no help at all!  🙂

**UPDATE:  After thinking about it, I really can’t justify spending that much on a doll right now.  I hope that when she gets a little bigger(5, 6 maybe?) she and I can go to the American Girl store together and pick out a special doll.  I’ll get the knock-off doll and the knock-off accessories and the knock-off clothes.  But maybe I’ll splurge and get actual girl-doll matching clothes from the AG store in Chicago.  That’s totally worth it for the pictures, right?  🙂