Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Bye Bye Big Kitchen

With one birthday behind us and one coming up, it is time for this family to purge our home of the toys and trappings of small children, to make way for the collection needed for a 7 and 9 year old.

And that means that it's finally time to say good-bye to Big Kitchen.

Big Kitchen first joined our family at Christmas in 2005. We shopped around, we considered which elements of a kitchen our then two-year-old would find most fun, and finally we put in our order to Santa Claus as to which one would be perfect for our family.

Santa didn't have time to have his elves put Big Kitchen together, so it came in a large, heavier-than-you'd-expect box, with more pieces than you ever thought imaginable.

It took us 3 hours to put Big Kitchen together on Christmas Eve. I should say, it took Wayne 3 hours, I helped with the little stuff, like taking the pots and pans out of their plastic bags and putting stickers in all the right places, while keeping us both supplied in wine to make it through the ordeal.

Sure enough, Big Kitchen became a big hit, first with the two-year-old, who we couldn't peel away from it long enough to open other gifts that morning, to the then 6-month-old who grew into it.

(Can I tell you how annoyed I am with Blogger that doesn't "get" vertical photos?)
The children grew and grew, but Big Kitchen was always a part of the fun. From playdates to birthday parties at our home, visitors gravitated to the kitchen. It became an integral part of our family restaurant nights, when the girls would make up a menu, pretend to prepare us food and "feed us" for an hour or more, all kinds of meal concoctions you would never encounter in real life. I've been known to pretend to gnaw on a drumstick, accompanied by a single banana, a half an onion and a small doughnut. All finished off with a bottle of beer. (Those bottles have always been pretend beer, not soda -- I don't know why.)

But soon Big Kitchen began to get ignored, and to become a place to set other toys that got played with more often. If we ever cleaned it off it was a favorite again for a little while, but eventually fell back into neglect.

Finally it was relegated to a place in our porch, where it was difficult to reach to play with it properly, and no one asked to have it pulled back out to play with it again.

That was our signal that it was time to retire Big Kitchen.

And so we began asking around if anyone needed a Big Kitchen for their growing family and we got a nibble. This family lives very close to us, and the little boy's older sister is a classmate of Lindsey's. We knew Big Kitchen would be well cared for and played with by this family.

And so one Saturday Big Kitchen got pulled out one last time and the girls helped me clean it up. We culled through drawers and drawers of toys searching for all the kitchen-related items and put them into a bag. And before we could traipse it over to the new family's house, the girls enjoyed one last session of restaurant.

As a family we walked the Big Kitchen to its new home down the street (yes, the girls walked there in pajamas, I don't really care). And we watched a small little boy who had to reach over his head to get to the microwave begin to play.

The family was kind enough to send a thank you note from them all, with an invitation to come visit Big Kitchen any time.

I suspect we'll be doing that.


  1. I was a little sad when we finally decided to get rid of Chases Bob the Builder workbench. When he was a wee lad still learning to stand/walk he spent a lot of time with that thing.

    But now that he's 7, and tall, he'd rather work on Daddys real tool bench.

    We've been getting rid of a lot of his little kid stuff lately. Physical nostalgia takes up too much room.

  2. Grandma Bonnie10:04 AM

    Our kitchen will still be waiting for them -- until that doesn't get used either. Maddie has a couple years to go yet!