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Smelly kid

July 25, 2010
by

Tea was a bloodhound in a past life.  He needs to smell everything.

There is no sneaking food around him.  It can be an hour since I ate a handful of crackers and he will awaken from his nap, sniff the air, lean in to me, and point an accusatory finger: “You ate my goldfish!”

I save empty spice containers for him to use in his play kitchen.  Cumin, ginger, cinnamon, garlic.  I don’t wash them out before letting him play with them, and he has learned their scents.  He uncaps them while “cooking” to tell me which spices he’s using to season his soup.

We visited an herb garden this weekend, and he went through it with his nose.  There was a volunteer there who kept trying to engage him.  “My son is looking for the basil”, I told her.  She showed us a “chocolate flower”.  “Where’s the basil?” he asked.  She led him to cups of leaves holding raindrops and told him that hummingbirds stop there to drink.  Not giving them a second look, he repeated, “Where’s the basil?”  She pointed out an interesting spiderweb.  “Where’s the basil?” he asked, growing inpatient.  She showed him a sage bush swarming with pollinators.  “Where’s the BASIL?” he pleaded.  Seriously lady, I thought, I know you think these things are more interesting to little boys, but really, my kid’s nose wants to smell it some basil! When he finally found it, he buried his head right in the leaves.  We had to drag him away.

Is there some way to nurture this passion?  A sommelier class for tots?  A perfume-blending kit?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Auntie M permalink
    July 26, 2010 2:27 am

    How about a cooking class for kids?

  2. July 26, 2010 1:48 pm

    Have you read A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman? Its a great read! It describes the senses from a scientific and anecdotal standpoint. She just writes so poetically.

    It’s so cute that Tea has this fascination! I would totally encourage honing his skills.

  3. Laurie permalink
    July 27, 2010 7:04 pm

    Autumn playdate – we’ll cook a basic muffin at my house and each kid can choose a spice to add to their batch and Tea can help us all learn the different spices and extracts – vanilla, almond, cinnamon, nutmeg, gloves, ginger…I love autumn baking!

    • July 29, 2010 11:35 pm

      Laurie that is BRILLIANT! I love that idea!

    • Courtney permalink
      July 30, 2010 7:07 pm

      oh my goodness. brilliant indeed. I think I do need to buy the house next door so we can start a culinary/sewing/crafting school for kids. and then when Robin is ready to finally move we can just turn the house over to her.

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