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Los Angeles: Surviving the American Girl Cafe

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Julie's Mom•Logic: For little girls like mine, this is the happiest place on earth.

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Last weekend, I took my 4-year-old daughter and a friend to the American Girl Cafe in Los Angeles. I encountered a few other Moms who'd flown from Denver just to come here. Another grandma and her granddaughter had taken the train from Washington state. Apparently, this place is not just a store, it's a "destination." And the $100 doll is merely the price of admission.

Before our tea reservations, we did a little browsing around the two-level store. When I asked the sales clerk if she had anything "affordable" she could point me towards, she laughed and said I was in the wrong store.

That was an understatement. At this place, they do dolls' hair in the doll beauty shop. They repair doll ailments in the doll hospital. They take photos of the girls and their dolls in the photo studio. They do plays about the dolls in the theater. And they even have highchairs, and doll-sized teacups and saucers, in the cafe. And, you guessed it, this all costs money. Buckets of it.

All of this would have made me barf about four years ago, before I had a daughter. But now, seeing her eyes light up as she clutches the doll who looks just like her, I realize the lump in my throat is not there because I just threw up in my mouth. That lump is from the pure joy I feel watching my daughter love something so much. And even if it's not something I would particularly choose for her (and, believe me, it's not), I gladly go along with it anyway because it makes her so happy. I guess that's what being a Mom is all about.


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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jenni February 25, 2008, 12:11 AM

She is beautiful!

Taffy February 17, 2009, 3:17 PM

“That’s what being a mom is all about”… are you kidding me. How about having a tea party with her and her friends…at home. Or teaching her how to fix her dolls hair… Or sew an outfit that matches her dolls…
Or, and this really is a unusual idea, teach her about the “Doll bank” where she can keep all the money that mommy just wasted on crap that she will play with a half a dozen times and then stuff it under her bed.

Good luck when she turns 16.. and doesn’t understand why she can’t have the “Shiny Car”


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