I gave Belle my old stuffed animals and soft-bodied dolls. She took a shine to a brown skinned doll with shiny black hair I had as a four year old. I found Belle washing the doll’s hair in the sink the same night Belle discovered her. I put them both in a warm bath, where I washed both from head to toe with the same baby wash.
I also gave Belle the toy canned goods and eggs from my play kitchen. I taught Belle how to make hard-boiled eggs by throwing a couple plastic eggs into the plastic pot on her play burner that lights up and makes boiling noises. I guess Belle figured she should recycle too because I found all labels removed from those tiny canned good replicas I once so loved.
I counted many cans of evaporated milk, fruit cocktail and tuna among the play food I played with as a child, before Belle peeled off the labels. Nothing has changed in the thirty years since I got that kitchen. I keep all that food on hand now. Recent food runs have yielded crunchy almond butter, flax seeds, pumpkin butter and teff. I would never have imagined eating such foods as a kid.
I spread both the crunchy almond and the pumpkin butters onto toasted English muffins for a beach picnic last weekend. Belle found these sandwiches quite delightful. Belle also enjoyed chocolate soy milk, cinnamon graham crackers shaped like giant goldfish and crackers made from hidden vegetables. She seems more willing to try different foods.