By TMoM team member Dani Luft
Cabbage Patch Kids. Bring back memories of your childhood? My family was planning a trip to Atlanta to celebrate my Aunt’s 70th birthday party and decided to take a detour. Babyland General is located in Cleveland, Georgia and is the birthplace of the beloved Cabbage Patch dolls we all know and love. I visited Babyland General a long time ago and remember it being fun. I posted on Facebook to get opinions on whether or not it was worth the extra hour out of our way, and most friends, like me, had gone a long time ago but loved it then, too. Some said it was a money pit and to just be prepared. Some said that if we’re lucky enough to watch a doll being “born”, then it would be worth it. My husband and I decided to give it a shot. Admission is free, and if nothing else, we were just an hour away from our true destination.
We drove up to a gorgeous property with a mountainous backdrop. Large white stone cabbage heads with babies’ faces in them appeared frequently as we drove up the long driveway. We had not been in there two minutes when an announcement came on that a baby was about to be born and we should head over to the big tree. The look on my girls (ages 3 and 5) faces were absolutely priceless. We witnessed a cabbage patch baby doll being born! The nurse who delivered the baby said things like “the leaves are dilated 10 centimeters which means the baby is ready to come out!” When the nurse pulled the baby out, she was in pink and therefore a girl baby. She got a full check up and needed to be named. They asked the audience and my daughter shouted out, “Gracie!” Thus, Gracie Elaine (the middle name was named by another little girl in the audience) was born and was ready to be adopted.
After the 5 minute birthing show, we walked around and looked at all the babies waiting to be adopted. There were hundreds of them—babies, toddlers, ones with cloth faces and were made on site, ones with plastic faces but cloth bodies made on site, ones in boxes made elsewhere—all within various price ranges from $30-$300. We told our girls which ones they could look at to adopt and after an agonizing decision, (“Mommy, this is SO hard! They are all so cute!”) the girls each picked out a doll that would become theirs forever.
We paid for them, filled out paperwork about the baby’s name, birth date, parent’s name and address, and then were taken into a small room where each girl had to take an oath, repeating after the nurse, promising to love and always take care of their babies. I’m not going to lie….I might have shed a tear or two.
Lastly, the newly adopted babies got a check up in the nursery. The nurse took them into a room with a glass front so we could watch the whole thing. She took the baby’s temperature, gave her an x-ray where they showed that one baby had butterflies in her stomach so she had to get a shot of “imagicillian” and the next x-ray showed the baby all better! My other daughter’s baby had bubbles in her tummy and got a similar shot to make her feel better. The babies got a sticker of good health and more paperwork showing they were all healthy.
We walked around some other rooms showing the very first dolls that Xavier Roberts created.Although it was neat to see how the dolls have changed over time, the first dolls were a bit creepy looking!
The nurses were so helpful and creative in the presentations of the dolls. They really took care of the babies and pride in their job. Each doll was handled with care as if they were real. I am so happy that we took the time to take our girls. We took a lot of pictures and videos and know it was a special time for us all. If you are ever near the Atlanta area and want to stop in, I would give it two thumbs up! It is about a 4.5 hour drive from the Triad and was something that we will always remember.