Friday, June 27, 2008

American Girl Day Trip

First off, I'm so bummed I don't have pictures with this post. I remembered everything yesterday except my camera. Lucy and I and my friend Sarah and her three children, Isabella, Andrew, and Stephen, all went to the city to see the advanced screening of the new American Girl movie, Kit Kittredge.

I dropped Elaine off at my parents' for the day because she is just too young obviously. She got wind of the fact that we were doing something special, and at one point she cried and said, "I goin' to 'cago too. ME TOO!" After that we just didn't talk about it anymore, and I kept emphasizing to her how she would have Manga and Packa and all the dolls and the playhouse and the toy lawnmower all to herself for a whole day. That was quite appealing to her, so she was fine after that.

So, off we went. First off, let me say how odd it felt, after having worked, lived, moved, and breathed in that city for so many years to now be there for the day, essentially as a tourist, wandering around, looking for our locations, and holding my little girl's hand while she held her Bitty Baby. I have turned into everything that I used to (not so secretly) snort at. Oh well. I might as well own it.

Before the movie, we stopped in to what my friend Jennie accurately calls "that pernicious doll company." It's true. It's rank consumerism and corporate greed and branding and what I don't like about America. But oh. Dolls! So many dolls! And their outfits! And their accoutrements! All females in our party were in heaven, especially when we got to the Molly display (Lucy's and my favorite)--there she was in her pajamas, in her cute raincoat and boots; in her Camp Gowanagin outfit; with her dog, Bennett, (in his pup tent!); in her Miss Victory costume. It was so fabulous. What can I say. I love that particular rank consumerism, corporate greed, and branding. I can't help it. Dolls!

Now--on to the movie. If you have a little girl or you know a little girl or you are secretly a little girl at heart (like me), you will love it. How could you go wrong anyway with Chris O'Donnell, Joan Cusack, Julia Ormond, and Stanley Tucci in a movie? And those were just the adults--the kids did a wonderful job too. Plus, this movie met my (admittedly high) entertainment standards for my kids: no disrespect to parents, no violence, kids who are both intelligent AND kind, no blaring music, and no visuals or jokes of bodily sounds/fluids/solids (I'm sorry. But it had to be said.)

Plus, it had a good mystery (hey, with all the mysteries I watch, even I didn't figure it out at first!) and was funny as well. So, if you're looking for a good movie to take your kids to (I would say ages 4+) feel free to plunk down your money on this one. Even Andrew and Stephen (ages 9 & 12) enjoyed it.

After the show was over, we were all ready for lunch. The boys were so cute; they wanted to be polite to Lucy and eat where she wanted, but when they realized she had no clue they began extolling all the virtues of the Rainforest Cafe and how much she would love it. I definitely wanted to go where they wanted since they had been such troopers about going to a "girl" movie with their little sister and her littler friend, so that's where we went. Lucy was convinced that the python and alligator at the entrance were real (she loved them). And she kept asking me if the gorilla by our table was real too (can you imagine?) Sometimes I don't realize what it must be like to be that young. She wanted to buy Elaine something from the giftshop there, but we had plans to go to the Disney store too so she decided to wait.

When we got there, there was a huge sale and Lucy decided to spend the bit of birthday money she had on a tiny Sleeping Beauty and Prince Philip with all their accessories and several outfit changes. Then she bought Elaine a nightgown with Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse on it.

By this time, we were ready to head home. All the kids were exhausted and watched a movie in the car on the way back. It was such a great day though. And our kids! I was really proud of them. I'm convinced they were the four sweetest kids in the whole city yesterday. No one fought or bickered or teased or was sassy or disobedient or rowdy. They were all kind and considerate of each other, and seeing as we had boys and girls, ages 5 to 12, that was pretty cool, I thought. (Here's one last cute thing. The little girls were getting tired of walking so much, and Stephen offered to give Isabella a piggyback ride. She was wearing a dress, and as he hoisted her on his back, he asked Sarah, "Mom, is she modest?" We got a good laugh from that.)

I'm looking forward to the time when I can take both my little girls to my city (with a stop at that pernicious doll company of course)!


Jill said...

I had to agree with your comment about how "unusual" it feels to walk around town after not living there for so long... but it is always good to go back. Sorry you forgot your camera :( but it sounds like you had a great time anyway!

Ann-Marie said...

Wow! What a good day. I can't wait to see the Kit movie myself, even it it sponsors the consumerism of which you wrote. I mean, the dolls are awesome, right?

Kudos to the kids, and how sweet is it Lucy wanted to get Elaine something? Best sister, indeed!

Doll Clothes Gal said...

A great day out by all accounts. The AG stuff is expensive but it also gives some historical education and has books for coping with growing up.

Juliet said...

What a fun day. I just wanted to escape to Chicago once again. Ann-Marie and I think: "Chicago is my kind of town."

Sounds like just a perfect day for all.

Melanie said...

All of the kids deserve some major kudos for sure! It was great to hear about how good they behaved and how much fun they all had. I definitely need to catch this movie!