Veggies in a Box

Our daughter fell in love with a plastic toy kitchen the last time we were home in the States. I decided that if I could find one at a decent price, it would be her big Christmas gift this year.

I promptly fired off a letter to Santa with our request. I got a kind reply from one of his elves that “due to regional constraints” Santa was unable to deliver large items to Brazil. Had I considered an online vendor? True. Christmas trees are scarce. There’s a proper shortage of hearths and chimneys–Brazilian children receive gifts in their shoes! So I guess delivery options are limited. If it doesn’t fit in your shoes, Santa’s not shipping.

Anyhow, armed with that kindly advice I ventured into the world of Brazilian online shopping. Amazingly, I found one and it was even at a decent price with gender-neutral colors! Merry Christmas!

And on Christmas morning I set it up under the tree and promptly snapped a photo because we all know that this is the last time we’ll ever see all those small pieces in the same place ever again…

A few thoughts occurred to me as I staged my daughter’s first culinary set:

  1. Internet shopping is becoming a Thing(TM) in Brazil. Everyone wants First World products, and yet it’s incredibly hard to find them in your local stores OR they’re ridiculously overpriced. Online is the only place way to go, unless you’re so rich that you don’t need to care. In our rural town, we all shop online.
  2. Shipping is exorbitant. I always gasp a little at shipping times and prices here. Oh, how I miss’s free five-day shipping! That being said, I paid extra for fast shipping and it arrived on time before Christmas. So it ain’t all bad.
  3. Be prepared for prices to be truly cray-crazy. So check, and double-check. Online prices are regularly different from store prices. Sales often mean that they just marked it up two days ago, only to then “mark it down” come the sale week. This kitchen was affordable, even with the expedited shipping. But a kit of plastic vegetables to go with the kitchen? More than I spent on the stove itself. (Here kid, I made you some cardboard broccoli instead! Isn’t mommy creative?)
  4. Speaking of vegetables–SALAD in a BOX–who ever heard of such a thing? Apparently whoever made this kitchen has. And while I’m on the topic–who the heck OK’d the decisions on these foods? Salad in a box, plastic hotdogs, plastic eggs, a plastic fish, a box of cream, pepper, and ketchup, those are our ingredients for Toddler Dinner. My mind boggles. (by the way, the salad and cream boxes are no more because: toddlers; they lasted a day)
  5. Expect some pretty crazy translations. English is chic in Brazil, but no one can really speak it. Can someone tell me what this menu is supposed to say? Shares? Room time??
  6. Truth in advertising is over-rated. The box shows what must be the world’s smallest three-year old playing with the kitchen. The spatula is huge in her hand, and the kitchen comes up to almost the top of her head. Now, truth be told, this kitchen doesn’t even measure up to my TWO-year old’s SHOULDER. So, clearly there’s been some creative photo editing.

But, all in all, my daughter and her friends are thrilled with her new luxury cooking duds. Our play area is the place to be these days for the under-five set.

And my daughter would like you to know that you’re welcome to stop by for some plastic hotdogs, cardboard broccoli, and salad in a box anytime.

We’ll keep the kettle on.

Never miss a crônica!

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