BlogExplosion

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mary’s Doll Hospital in Chester, New Jersey

I was a tomboy from birth through high school… playing softball and Capture the Flag with the neighborhood boys, begging my parents to let Skipper (nee Lester) or Eddie (who played on the high school baseball team and envied my fast-pitch) be my teenage babysitter (a heartbreaking no go, as my parents recognized my predilection for older men early on and attempted to squelch it).

Growing up, and for many years of my adult life, I could not have imagined that one day I'd be saying, "I brought Kailey in to Mary's Doll Hospital with a broken arm and she came back as good as new." I don't know where my girls got the girly-girl gene, but London and Maddie each have about eight American Girl dolls, excluding Bald Bitty Baby and the Bitty Twins. Hmm, let's see if I can name them. London has: Merle, Samantha, Elizabeth, Marisol, Kit, Emily, Nikki and Mia. Maddie has: Kailey, Nellie, Felicity, Jess, Molly, Nikki, Mia, and Rex took a trip up to Times Square this afternoon to pick up Ruthie so that Ruthie and Kit can join us down at the beach for Kit Kittredge, the new American Girl Movie coming to theatres everywhere on July 2nd, 2008.

My worst fears of London and Maddie's girly-girlhood mixed with their mother's tomboy genes have come to pass. When we moved out from New York City's West Village to the Roxiticus Valley in October 2003, my girls were 2½ and 1½, and I think Maddie got Kailey (Girl of the Year 2004) for her 2nd birthday, even though American Girl recommends that you stick with Bitty Baby and the Bitty Twins and avoid the dolls with hair until your girly-girls get to be eight years old, when I'll secretly be hoping that my girls will move on to basketball (London is 4 foot 6 at the end of the first grade) and softball (like their mom, who will continue our family tradition of denying my daughters hot teenage boy babysitters). Anyway, despite the girly-girl gene that got them the dolls in the first place, London had Kailey by the arm and Maddie grabbed hold of Kailey's leg to try to get her back, and the leg snapped right off. It was time for one of many lectures on respecting our special dolls ("When mommy was little, I ripped the heads off my dolls and drowned them in the bathtub, but I wasn't asking Santa for any more special dolls to replace them"), followed by a trip to Mary's Doll Hospital in Chester, New Jersey, where Mary promises that "all dolls and animals will be restored and repaired." I wish I could add, "no questions asked." But Mary is a charming and inquisitive woman, who wanted all the gory details about the Incident and also wanted to know "what in tarnation happened to her hair?!" The operation in question is referred to as "re-stringing," (I think we paid $20-$25) but Mary really wanted to clean and detangle Kailey's rat hair for an additional $20 - $25. This tomboy knew better, since not only would the hair be re-tangled within a week, but it turns out that Kailey made her second "re-stringing" visit to Mary's Doll Hospital within a year of the original Incident.

Mary's Doll Hospital, 75 Main Street in Chester, NJ. I'll give you two phone numbers: (908) 879-4101. (973) 366-9485. Mary keeps odd hours, so call to make sure she'll be there before you bring in your precious amputee for repair.


1 comments:

Spicy Bug said...

That is really neat. I never heard of anything like that before.