There I was, minding my own business watching TV at my in-laws house when the most terrifying words from a four year old came up from the basement.
“Daddy, Nana gave me an American Girl Doll.”
No way this is happening. I had a flashback to a few weeks ago at Toys R Us. While we were going through EVERY aisle in the store we stumbled upon the American Girl Doll section. Like a deer in headlights my daughter could only mutter in a hushed tone, “What are THOSE?” At that moment my brain went dead and was unable to tell lies. I replied “American Girl Dolls”. I immediately regretted it. While she made no sound I could see a physical change take place on her face, where her mission in life would be to acquire one of these at any cost. This is how little girl monsters are created. We ended up getting another toy and I thought I had dodged a bullet like Neo.
Once I heard those words percolating from the basement, I knew I was Stevie Wonder trying to cross the Indy 500 race track.
For you non parents, you might think, Phil you are overreacting, it’s just a doll. Well I say, you have no idea what you’re dealing with. Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park said it best, “Don't you see the danger, John, inherent in what you're doing here? Genetic power (or American Girl Dolls) is the most awesome force the planet's ever seen, but you wield it like a kid that's found his dad's gun.”
Not only did a doll come bounding up the steps, but 2 plastic bags full of clothes and a two doll rocking chair. When I saw the rocking chair I wanted to exclaim “F*cking furniture?!” but I saved it by saying “oh isn’t that nice?”.
Once we arrived home it was time to get ready for bed. Normally it’s a pretty standard process, 2 kids + bath +PJ’s+ stories = bedtime (or parent freedom as I call it.) Well, the American Girl Doll (Or Felicity as she’s apparently called) changed the equation. Now instead of 2 kids getting PJ’s and stories I have to get the American Girl Doll into PJ’s and read her stories as well. The dexterity of a 4 year old isn’t quite good enough to squeeze her doll into the PJ’s so it falls to me. My daughter hands me the PJ’s which look like they are out of the 1800’s because she has a sleeping cap to go with it.
There I am, 8pm on a Sunday, dressing a doll instead of watching the Stanley Cup playoffs. This is fatherhood.
Once I finish it’s time to read stories to both of them in my daughter “reading area”. Apparently she had set up her rocking chair next to the doll’s rocking chair and they wanted me to read stories. I know what you must be asking yourself and no I did not have a chair to read on. I had to lay on the wood floor and crank out not 1 or 2 but 3 books. With a stiff back I finally got my daughter to bed with her doll. Right before I left the room I made a fatal error when I asked “Did your baby enjoy the stories?” I received the look of death and this response. “Daddy, THIS is an AMERICAN GIRL DOLL and her name is FELICITY!”
I sheepishly backed out of the room and closed the door. Monster officially created.
Update- We went to my inlaws for Easter, the collection grew by 1 and I’m still on the floor reading books…