The Nature Restaurant

Can I just say,

THIS is what childhood is all about.

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Welcome to the kitchen of Wilder and Waverley’s Nature Restaurant.

Usually you’ll find Wilder glued to an electronic device.  But last week, after taking the kids to a park where Waverley found “ingredients” to make leaf+floral sandwiches, they came home and began creating an incredibly elaborate dining experience that we -and my mother, visiting from Washington- got to enjoy many times.

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They made menus.  They made signage.  They pulled stuff out of the recycling to use.  Actually, Wilder held Waverley by the ankles while she rummage through the recycling bin like a raccoon. (This is what they told us, no photographic evidence.)  When, once, Wilder lost his grip and she fell in, Waverley said, “THEN?!  I could get ANYTHING WE WANTED!!”  The delight on her face was unmatched.

It was hilarious.

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They collected and stored their ingredients for leave-based pizza, sandwiches, rolls (made entirely from leaves and scotch tape.)  They refilled sparking water bottles with food coloring and created juices and sodas.

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My favorite part?  Okay, there are two.

First, they insisted on the chef wearing all white and the server wearing all black.  But Wilder didn’t have a black long sleeve shirt.  So they took one of Waverley’s and turned in inside out to hide the design.  Waverley didn’t have any white pants. So she wore, again -inside out, two of Wilder’s shirts.  One on top, and one….on the bottom.  Using clothes pins and a dog leash to cinch it around the waist.

Secondly, the oven they constructed.  They used an empty Topo Chico box, covered it with paper, filled the belly with black rocks that represented coal, drew burners on the top and ceremoniously cooked on their homemade stove.  And I tell you what: It made the BEST leaf pizza I’ve ever had.

And perhaps the most remarkable of all…their attitudes while playing and after were sweeter, gentler and more harmonious than we’ve ever witnessed before.

We’re kicking them outside to play in the trash and dirt more often, I can tell you that.

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