We have WiFi now. That means that I can sit in the kitchen with my daughter and my laptop. I did that last night. Waiting for a friend to arrive with missing ingredients so I could complete my chocolate chip cookie dough, I was killing time emailing back and forth with a client about the look and feel of her Web site, while Soul Fry browsed through the American Girl holiday catalog with a giant black Dry Erase marker in hand. "I'm just marking the ones I want, Mommy."
"Ok," I said absently, then like Naddick, fired off a witty quip to New York, and anxiously stood at the baseline awaiting my opponent's Federer-like return. (She calls it tennis, not me. I just call it e-mail.)
I turned to inspect Soul Fry's "wish list." And this is what I saw:
Not bad. "Just marking the ones I want, Mommy." At $95 a pop, fulfilling that page's order alone will only cost us $1900. Add in the horse on the next page ($75), the $28 travel set (a mini plastic suitcase), the spa day set ($150)--this page is where she figured out how to circle rather than black out her intended--the nail care kit ($10), the salon station ($85), the baking table and treats ($85+$28), the Western saddle set ($32), and five full outfits at appx $28 each... oh forget about it. I lost count. Soul Fry lost focus. I went to the change jar to start counting pennies. We have a very large change jar, you realize.
Please file all of the following under the heading "Get Over It." To wit:
1. Each doll costs a little more than we were making every Sunday at our regular gig, after we overpaid the babysitter and tipped the bartender.
2. Each doll outfit costs $1 less than the dress I bought on the sale rack at Urban Outfitters for our CD release party.
3. Children are being marketed to unfairly, and parents are being manipulated.
4. The dolls aren't made in America. Each doll costs more than the person who made it makes in a month. Worse, the dolls probably aren't even organic.
5. She's four. FOUR.
6. Capitalism is evil! Commercialism is worse! America is in ruins!
7. Two of my favorite friends do only hand-made gifts.
8. Christmas is about peace, love, and chocolate chip cookies, not gifts.
Yeah, I get it.
Please register further complaints with the Marker Queen's mother. Her office hours are Sundays, 11:59 pm to Mondays, 12:00 am, but she'll be out of the office for the next four weeks because she'll be shopping for Barbie dolls that are wearing (gasp!) mini skirts and heels. Please try your call again at another time.