I remember the day my mother-in-law mentioned that when Mayhem was old enough, we should take her to the Cabbage Patch Hospital.
“The what the what?!?!”, I remember saying.
Mayhem was a baby at the time, and that was the day I learned that such a place actually existed. It’s called Babyland General Hospital and it sits on 650 gorgeous acres in the mountains in northern Georgia. And it’s less than an hour and a half drive from where my in-laws live.
Fast forward approximately four years. To yesterday. We’re visiting and decided now was as good a time as any.
So we packed a lunch and the grandparents, and hit the road. About an hour and fifteen minutes later we pulled up to this:
My first reaction was Yowza – this is probably going to be nicer than the hospital where Mayhem was born. And it kinda was.
We were greeted at the entrance by a lovely nurse who asked us to sign in and then explained that we were free to explore as we like. Have I mentioned that admission to this place is absolutely free? She also told us that we were welcome to take photographs throughout and that any of the dolls throughout the hospital were available for adoption.
Except this one 😉
We snapped a few photographs in the lobby while we were waiting for the men to join us and before we even started our walk through, the nurse at the front desk alerted us that Mother Cabbage was in labor and about to deliver if we wanted to head back and watch.
Yes, you read all of the above correctly.
And because curiosity had the better of all of us, we couldn’t NOT check it out.
Suffice it to say, it was a ten minute production in which the cabbage patch baby was born and named. I will say that I found the “birthing” to be a little bit strange. Especially when the nurse announced that Mother Cabbage was a full ten leaves dilated (after measuring her with what appeared to be giant salad tongs). Mayhem was completely weirded out by the whole thing, burying her head into Keith’s shoulder, but nearly every other kid around seemed to be just fine. Different entertainment strokes for different folks, right?
Needless to say, we declined the offer to follow the newborn to the nursery for baby’s first check up. Instead, we went around exploring the other rooms and areas in search of the perfect doll.
Which happens to be incredibly overwhelming for a four year old.
But after many many MANY laps around the entire space, Mayhem finally made a decision.
Which is about the time that I was required to pull out my credit card.
For the record, I had EVERY intention of buying her a Cabbage Patch doll going into this little trip. And I had researched before we left so that I had an idea on prices. I will tell you that there is honestly a doll for every budget. I don’t remember all the different classifications or features of each different line, but there were dolls that I saw ranging in price $14.99 to nearly $300. I knew which dolls were out of budget for us and so we simply guided Mayhem to which dolls she COULD choose from. But a purchase is not required to visit Babyland.
After paying our “adoption fees”, there was still a little more work to be done.
We sat at a desk and filled out our adoption paperwork, where Mayhem chose the name Grachel, and gave her a birthdate.
After that, another nurse took us into an adoption office and filled out Grachel’s birth certificate and then sent us on our way.
To be perfectly honest, I think the entire experience was a little overwhelming for Mayhem. Not in a bad way, just that she wasn’t saying a whole lot, which is HIGHLY unusual for her. I was wondering if she really had enjoyed the experience and I got my answer as we exited the hospital…
Thumbs up from Mayhem is a very good sign.
Oh, and I surprised her by adding a stroller to the purchase which happened to be an excellent $15 decision (if I do say so myself). Because I’m confident she’d get sick of carrying that doll fairly quickly, but I’m pretty sure she’s already pushed that stroller about five miles in the past 24 hours.
Outside the hospital we took a few photographs.
And then we took our packed lunch to a picnic table on the shaded back porch and enjoyed a some family time looking out at the stunning views.
It was pretty much a perfect little half day “field trip” and we’d definitely recommend a visit. Especially if you’re a kid like me who remembers all too well the mass hysteria in the early 80’s over Cabbage Patch Kids. I had two of them myself growing up, but never actually got to choose one. So it was kinda sorta awesome to take my own girl and watch her search for just the right one.
And her smile was kinda sorta worth it too…
So if you happen to find yourself near Cleveland, GA, be sure to stop in. Or at least drive up and take a look at the grounds as they’re absolutely spectacular!