3 S.R. Johannes: Milk baths? Not so great if you are a doll.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Milk baths? Not so great if you are a doll.

BEWARE: this is a mommy post.

So we had a huge DRAMA this weekend and are just recovering today.

The abuse of my daughter's American Girl (AG).

The one she fondly named Sarah Kate Magnificent Clara (SKMC for short - sounds like a rapper huh?) after weeks of tossing out several names.

The one that is over 100$.

The one she washed with milk.

yes, you heard me right, milk. And 2% makes no difference trust me.

Now a couple of weeks ago, I walked into the room to find my daughter drenching her AG with water. Innocent mistake right? We had not covered the AG rules thorough enough. I calmly explained to her that she could do anything she wanted to to that doll EXCEPT get her wet. That if she wanted to wash her hair - she needed to call me (the hair dresser) and take her to the salon (bathroom) under my supervision so i could show her how to do it properly.

The high maintenance AG doll
For those of you who have not been brainwashed enough to get sucked into the AG's retail trap, the dolls cost over 100$ and are made so that you have to spend money even after you buy one. They have their own clothes and own rules of ownership. They are very sensitive.
  • You cant get their body wet
  • You have to use a special brush
  • You have to take them to the AG salon if you need a hairstyle change.
  • You can only dampen their hair
  • And you can only wash it with Johnson's baby shampoo. (AG must obviously have some kind of contract with Johnson, right?)
  • If something happens, the dolls have to go to the AG Hospital (where admission is at least 40$),
Saturday Drama
Yesterday, at quiet time, it was quiet.

First clue: I should have known something was up b/c my daughter usually comes out at least 5 times during the "quiet" time asking how long is "quiet" time.

So finally, I go in and anticipate some damage.

What kind of damage can a 5 year old do - you ask?

You'd be surprised at how much they can do and how fast. Its actually amazing what 5 year olds can do in such a short period of time of 30 minutes.

We have had our mishaps.

My daughter has rubbed glitter glue all over her wall. She has stuck about 1,011 stickers on her walls, bed, and her furniture. She has sprinkled/scattered jars of glitter all over her room and rug. She has colored the walls with glitter Tinkerbell crayons. She has taken ever hair clip and clipped the organza draps. And, she has tied her princess toole that hangs from her ceiling to her bed in triple knots.

All this in the name of fanciness! (Remind me to kill Fancy Nancy!)

I digress.

So, I walk into the room and look around. Doesn't seem so bad. Until I start picking stuff up. Everything seems kind of.......I don't know.....wetish (is that a word?) (Looking back now, i would say milky but hind sight is 20/20, isn't it).

Dramatic reenactment:

I pick up a dripping doll and whine. "Honey, I thought I asked you not to put water around your American Girl?"

With big innocent eyes and a large smile, my daughter says, "I know Mommy. I didn't use water."

I hold up the dripping doll and ask, "Then why is she wet?"

Keep in mind, my daughter has no idea she is about to incriminate herself so instead of saying "I plea the 5th." She happily and proudly says, "It's milk. I gave her a milk bath."

Now I knew the recognized the smell. Warm milk. She looked so innocent in front of me and so proud. How do you handle that? Her intentions were good but her actions were careless and she went ahead and did something after I'd already told her not to get her doll wet.

"Why did you do that? Didn't I asked you not to get your doll wet last week?"

Again, innocent eyes blink back at me, still unaware of the impending wrath of Mommy. "But mommy you said I could not use WATER on her hair. I didn't use water. I used milk for her milk bath."

She had a point.

And, I did not yell. But I did make her sit in timeout while I chatted with the American Girl hotline for about 15 minutes. A time-out house record.

Pathetic Reenactment

AG: His this is AG, can you tell me your doll's name?

Me: Ugh, Sara Kate Magnificent Clara.

AG: *pause* OK. What can I do for Sara Kate? What was the rest?"

Me: "Magnificent Clara."

AG: "Sara Kate Marvelous Claire?"(why cant my daughter just choose Suzie like the other kids?)

Me: "That's fine. My daughter put milk on her doll and i need to find out if i can clean it."

AG: "So your daughter wet Sara Kate's hair?"

Me: "And body."

AG: "Right. Well water isn't too bad for the hair, but the body could rust."

Me: "Uh yeah, except it was milk."

AG: *gasp* "Did you say milk?"

Me: "Yes, milk. My daughter gave her a milk bath."


Me: "So can I clean it or does it have to go to the hospital?"

AG: "Well, I have heard of kids throwing up on their dolls. But I must say this is the first I have ever heard of a girl using milk. Hold on and let me ask my supervisor."

I must admit, part of me was almost proud. My daughter was the FIRST girl to think of giving her doll a milk bath? She is so smart. Cool right? So cool, we had to be escalated to the Milk supervisor. Whoa!


Meanwhile, my daughter is wailing from her Timeout spot. "Please don't let them kill her, Mommy."

AG: "I'm back. We will probably have to replace the entire doll. Milk can stink."

Now I could have told you that. Can I be a supervisor? How much do they make?

Me: "Ok, I'll send it in. can it be fixed?"

AG: "You might as well buy a new doll."

Me: "But my daughter loves the one she has."

AG: "Ok Send it in. If we can't fix it (code word for get out your wallet) - you can purchase a new one as well as the hospital gown set. Then, when we send it back, she'll think it is the same one." Great now, $150. Ag lady gives me a list of "prepping and packing instructions" and I get off the phone.

Perturbed I just spent another 150$

I go to my daughter and tell her. "I just got off the phone with the Dr. Sara Kate has to go to the hospital and have an operation."

Daughter: "Sara Kate Magnificent Clara."

Me: "Today, its just Sara."

Daughter: "But will she die?"

The mean mad me says: "She might! And, if she does. I am not buying you a new one. That will be the consequence. We will just have to see what happens."

*tears follow* (from both of us. If anyone cried around me, I cry too. Not helpful I know but true.)

So what was my daughter's punishment?

I think she had had enough. She cried for about 30 minutes about her doll and is devastated that she has to give up Sara Kate Magnificent Clara for major surgery . Originally, we took away a show just to impress nanny 911 but after the the flood of tears, I buckled and ended up giving it back when my hubby left for the afternoon.

What can I say except - I am a sucker.

Not only am i paying for a new doll but now I have to pay for the stupid hospital gown too.

American girl - 100$

American girl replacement $150

Daughter's happiness - priceless. Though she is probably scarred for life.

All at my expense.

Me - I was upset that I upset her all afternoon. I wanted ot take a bath after she went to bed. But somehow a milk bath didn't sound so good anymore.

Just out of respect for the dead.


Anonymous said...

You are such a good mommy. Your daughter seems so sweet and very, very smart. Milk bath idea is precious. What a racquet the American Girl people have...amazing.

Anonymous said...

'Nother thought. Your story makes me thankful my daughter never got into the AG dolls. She never asked, I never offered. But we had a just-as-intense devotion to beany babies. I can remember my heart breaking and being desperate to find another same exact 'baby' when she lost her "lamby." Those big tear-filled eyes will get us every time, won't they?

Anonymous said...

I was looking for another post to comment on but came back to this one because, as of this minute, both my kids hate me. Why? Because I insisted they do their chores (as they're supposed to do every weekend) before getting on the computer or watching TV. The way they're acting, you'd think I'm the meanest, most unreasonable ogre around. I keep telling myself that unless my kids "hate me" on a regular basis (i.e., holding the line on a rule), I'm not doing my job. Still. So hard.

Kelly Polark said...

Wow. That is an ordeal! Your daughter sounds like she has the spunk of mine!
Last summer (when my daughter was five) she decided to cut her brand new AG's doll shorter and then cut her own hair about five inches shorter too!
Later I found she had hidden the hair all over her room in little crevices...like I wouldn't notice the shorter hair!

Corey Schwartz said...

OMG. Sorry to laugh at your tragedy, but that had me rolling on the floor!

Kimbra Kasch said...

OMG I'm so happy that my daughter didn't like dolls and instead had bears. At build a bear - you can get them for $10-$25.

And they can have a bath in Kool-aid and go into the washing machine.

Never knew how lucky I was.

Adrienne said...

Whoa...that's quite a story. We had our share of Barbie incidents, but nothing like that. Never mind a bath, you deserve a spa day!

Carrie Harris said...

HAH! Poor Sara Kate Magnificent Clara. But even more to the point, poor Shelli Something Magnificent Mommy. You really do deserve a bath. Just not in milk.

Robyn Campbell said...

We have two AG dolls and so I feel your pain. You did the only thing you could do in this case. You gotta pay the money girl! :) Thanks for sharing your story. Sorry the milk bath has been forever ruined for you!

Kelly H-Y said...

What a riot! And ... being new to the whole AG scene, I had no clue about the 'hospital'! WOW! I have much to learn ... and look forward to! :-)

Casey Something said...

I had to Google "American Doll" to see what kind of doll has a hospital and costs that much and then I went "Ahhh." I used to want one! I just adored all the little themed dolls and their sets.


Now I know not to indulge my daughter when she wants one.

Ha! Thanks Shelli!

Anonymous said...

Didn't you almost get a contract for an American Girl book? I know their "franchise" more by their AG books than their dolls, though the books are there to market the dolls aren't they? Anyway, getting that far in the acquisition process is HUGE. You are on the brink...

Mary Uhles said...

ok i shouldn't be laughing probably but i am after reading this... easy for me to laugh now... my daughter is only 3 months old;) what i learned from this blog entry: do not buy an american girl doll, unless you also have floors made of solid gold. that may not be what their branding people want me to learn but oh well.

King of my Throne said...

Well...I quess the barbie dolls aren't all that bad! With my two girls in one room it seems the barbie dolls are going to take over. They are much cheaper than the AG dolls.

Unknown said...

I don't know what is funnier- the dialogue between you and M or between you and the AG hotline girl.

I can't believe the cost of those things. Damn it. If they just made them indestructible (sp?) like Barbie there wouldn't be a problem.

Still LOL about you telling her that SKMC might die. That was your anger talking. I would be angry too!

I think there is a picture book in this real life story somewhere. The lead character must be SKMC!!!

Tina Anderson said...

Your daughter sounds a bit like my son. So precious, but they have a way of looking at what you say with complete black and white glasses. I could completely hear my son telling me that I had not said anything about milk. He would not mean it in anything but innocence. No matter what the cost, we as mothers can't help but love them. Most of all when they are asleep. ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh no! Poor SKMC. So she couldn't be saved?

PS. Your daughter is so funny! I loved her diva interview.