A New Kitchen for Oliver

As many of you read last week, Oliver’s amazing homemade cardboard play kitchen had one too many incidents with liquids which lead to it’s eventual demise and one-way trip to the recycle bin.

The kitchen had an impressive six-month life (I’m shocked it survived as long as it did), and was very well loved during its time with us, and even had a few time-outs in the garage so it could get minor repairs.

I’m not a huge fan of spending a ton of money on kids toys, hence the homemade cardboard creation, but after watching Oliver with it, and seeing how happy it made him, and how occupied it kept him, I started to have a change of heart – assuming I could find one of a decent quality, under $100, on the small side (not a huge plastic monstrosity), and ideally, delivered to my front door.

Most of the CraigsList kitchens were of the huge plastic variety, the others were in far away places like Napa, Sonoma, or the South Bay (not worth the drive). Then one of the baby-bargian-blogs on my RSS feeder showed a kitchen on sale at Target – with free shipping. It got decently good reviews, wasn’t pink, wasn’t plastic, wasn’t over $100, and would be delivered to my front door.

This afternoon, after what felt like an eternity of waiting, the new kitchen arrived. As with the construction of the old kitchen, I monopolized the dining room table for my creative purposes.

The kitchen arrived in a deceptively large box, inside another box, inside another box, wrapped in sheets of packing foam, and over-sized plastic wrap. There were lots of little pieces. Lots and lots and lots of little pieces, and little screws.

It took about two hours to assemble, painstakingly screwing everything by hand – the directions warned against power tools and they were probably right to do so. Once it was fully assembled, Gavin hauled it to the living room and placed it at one end of the train table (the middle of our living room).

I located the little basket of 80s-vintage picnic plates and kitchen accessories that I had once played with, and the other assorted kitchen do-dads that had graced O’s previous kitchen.

I would say the new kitchen is a resounding success. It has a nice amount of space to hold all the plates, and a little shelf on the bottom which fits the basket nicely. The counter surface is a little high, but that will give O some room to grow. Best of all, for the last half hour, I have heard very little from the living room except the twisting of knobs, opening and closing of doors, and rattling of kitchen accessories.

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