The Dad Diaries - A cardboard kitchen for his daughter


Here is our first #DadDiaries feature. K T Thomas is a designer by profession and when large delivery boxes arrived he had the most amazing brain wave. He tells us his inspiration behind him building his daughter the most beautiful kitchenette made out of delivery boxes. We are in absolute awe.

"The day my daughter was born, my mother offered to stay the night with my wife and daughter at the hospital, that just didn't seem right. My wife and I were in this together, and so it began–the sleepless nights, smelly diaper changes and helping my wife recover. If I had to do it all over again, I would, and I wouldn't change a thing. I think it was important for me to get my hands dirty, to see how far I would be willing to go for her. It also helped me understand what it would be like to be a full-time dad, and confidence to handle anything that involved her, if the situation ever came up. I believed that by being a part of her every day routine, Mia will grow to recognize me as someone she could trust and depend on for anything.

Before Mia was born, I requested for a month off from work, but when the time came, I was only offered a week of paternal leave and I was told that, if that didn't suit me then I could leave the firm. I left. Best decision I made! I did finally find new employment 5 months later, but those 5 months I spent at home with Mia and my wife were the most cherished months of my life. The only thing that children remember is the time you spend with them, doing things, simple things and that's what I used the time for. It was on me, to decide how much time to spend with her everyday day, and no matter how tough a day I've had at work, when I get back home I make sure Mia always sees me smiling. This simple decision to smile made her do the same when she saw me at the end of the day, and this would make the worst day in the office just fade away.

 

The Kitchenette 

Mia would make me a cup of chai as soon as I got home from work just as her mother would, and soon progressed to other things like parathas and aloo sabzi (with her kitchen play things). We noticed that she was interested in helping out in the kitchen and loved sitting on the kitchen counter watching my wife cook. One day, three diaper boxes arrived from Amazon and that's when I saw opportunity. Together they fit perfectly to form a cooking range for Mia. Including an oven and a bit of storage above the stove for her ingredients. That was the Kitchen Project 1. She was thrilled when she saw the cooking range the next morning. A few days later she asked if she could also have a sink. A place she could wash dishes, she wanted soap and a place to hang a towel to dry the dishes. And so began Kitchen Project 2. Incidentally around the same time we happened to buy a new refrigerator, and of course I was more excited about the box than the refrigerator itself. Initially I thought of making a crawl space for Mia or a space with a table and a chair, a space where she could spend some quiet time. Also my wife began to complain about the number of boxes and the mess in the living room, so that's when I decided to make a compact kitchenette, which would fit Project 1 and Project 2 as well. I moved her cooking range in and made a sink and the refrigerator box turned into her little nook.

I believe that work is work and must be done efficiently and diligently, but work needs to be left at work. I also believe that there will always be work, I doubt we have come across a time when there was no work, it's up to us to decide to make the time for the more important things. This will mean that your nights become shorter and the days drag on late into the night. But its all worth it, every second of it."

 

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