OK, I confess... I am so stinkin' proud of myself, right now.
For months, I've been lusting after new play kitchens for the kids. I wanted one made out of wood, with individual appliances for maximum rearrangeability, painted bright colors... and I found various versions ranging from $120-$1200. I wanted to give this fabulous gift to the kids for Christmas... which was distinctly impractical because we'll be celebrating the holidays with the grandparents, rather than at home. Such gifts don't lend themselves to road trips - not even with the generous trunk size of the Taurus.
Whilst obsessed with all this wood-kitchen-coveting, I had a dirty little reality niggling at the back of my mind.
We already have one, you see.
No, it's not a lovely little wooden kitchen. It's the monstrous Little Tykes version I bought for G at a yard sale, several years ago. This Summer I'd become fed up with how much space the thing takes up and decided to move it to the back yard so the neighbor kids could enjoy it, too, and I would no longer have to creatively arrange the real furniture around it.
J was skeptical about my decision. He is well versed in the life cycles of toys outdoors. He graciously supplied the brute strength to haul the thing outside, all the while thinking we had just junked one of the kids' favorite toys. But, ever amicable, he obliged me... and out it went.
So, last night, when I mentioned my desire to spend hundreds of dollars on a new play kitchen, he was less than thrilled. If he was an emotional man, he probably would have been angry... but, being the mellow wonder that he is, the best way to describe his reaction is... hmmmm... that he was perplexed in an unfavorable way. So, as far as I was concerned, that was the end of that idea. (Don't get the wrong idea... this isn't a meekness/submissiveness thing. My husband hates saying no to me - so when he even expresses dissent to one of my fabulous ideas, I take it very seriously.)
Thus our story arrives at this lovely, cold, foggy morning. I decided to salvage the Little Tykes kitchen and try - again - to find a way to incorporate its garish plasticness into my decor. Leaving A watching Dora the explorer, I armed myself with an abrasive sponge, hot water and Pine Sol and braved the dirty, nasty kitchen.
Half the spiders in the Pacific Northwest had taken up residence in the various nooks and crannies. I evicted them. I scrubbed off the layers of dirt, dumped the leaves and standing water, and carefully removed all the chunks of various weeds that had served as make-believe food in the course of a backyard Summer. Then I sprayed it down and thoroughly dried it off with old towels. Bravely ignoring my increasingly ginormous belly, I then flexed my womanly muscles and maneuvered the thing back inside.
A was thrilled. I'm proud. And J will be so relieved. All in all - a good morning's work.
The results. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself!