Friday, January 9, 2009

Our American Girl

Maya got a "Just Like You" American Girl doll from my parents for her 7th birthday. She has been wanting one for awhile now, and with the recent opening of the American Girl store at the Mall of America, it seemed like the right time. She absolutely loves this doll. The first morning after she got it, she "made" her doll breakfast (pancakes with butter, out of construction paper...see picture.) They have had numerous tea parties together, and she treats her like a true, real friend.
Last weekend, Maya had been exceptionally good, so we thought we might venture out to the Mall of America and check out the store. We told her that she could pick something out in the store that was $10 or less. She could find nothing. She thought her doll could really use a pair of boots to get her through the Minnesota winter....but the cheapest ones she could find were $14 (the same price I paid for Ava's REAL winter boots at Target!) She thought she could get her doll's hair done....but all she could get for $10 was a ribbon in her hair...that wouldn't do. She was frustrated. I didn't blame her. But we had a chat, and she decided that she would save her money up for a couple of months and come back and get her doll's hair done in the style that she wanted.
So, we came home and devised a chart to keep track of how she would earn her money each day. She has five requirements each day, and each one is worth 10 cents, so she can earn a total of 50 cents a day. This is similar to other charts that we have done in the past to help her earn allowance, with a little variation to keep things interesting. She has calculated that if she fulfills her requirements each day, she will be able to take her doll to the store by the end of February. She has made it almost an entire week now, and she has earned 40-50 cents each day. She is quite focused! She is learning, once again, though, how much harder it is to earn money than to spend it. When we added up her chart tonight, she let out a sigh and explained matter-of-factly, "Mommy, you don't have to teach me the value of a dollar anymore! I already's almost NOTHING!"