It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Warning: Not for the Faint of Heart – Updated with Link

Playdough is a favourite activity round here. We have a basket filled with playdough toys – rollers and cookie cutters, plastic knives and garlic presses, and within this sits a plastic container of playdough. We don’t mess with those sissy teeny commercial pots, either. We make our playdough around here, and we make it in respectable quantities. Two cups at a time, generally, often a double batch for more. That’s one substantial lump o’dough.

The recipe I use is taken from the More With Less cookbook put out by the Mennonites. I’d give you all the publishing details, but my copy is so old and well-thumbed that its cover and initial pages have been loved right off it.

Mix together in bowl:
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons alum

Heat to boiling:
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon oil
food colouring

Stir liquids into dry ingredients. Knead until smooth. (Since it will be HOT, I knead while wearing rubber gloves which I coat with a thin layer of vegetable oil to prevent sticking.) Store in an airtight container.

This stuff keeps for-EVER. Alum is a pickling spice, keeping things dry and preserved. Some people prefer not to use alum, in which case you may substitute cream of tartar, but I find it doesn’t work as well.

As long as we remember to keep the lid on when it’s not in use, one batch can last several months.

Unless, of course, someone decides to get even more creative than usual. No mere sausages and pancake sculpting for our mystery tot. Someone wanted dimension, someone wanted texture!

Someone poked chick peas into the playdough:

January 5, 2006 Posted by | crafts, eeewww | 9 Comments

How, Exactly?

“Hey, big M! How’re you doing?”

“Big M’? I’m about a foot shorter than him, and a solid five inches shorter than his wife. And I’m not short. Nor am I fat. Whatever: he’s being playful; I match his tone.

“Sick as a dog, TallDark Dad. I’ve been sick all vacation. It bites the big one.” I laugh, ruefully, hoarsely. Laugh morphs into a hack.

“So, are you open?”

There are four toddlers in my home. I’m sure he can hear the rowdiness in the background. “Yup, I’m open!”

“Well, we’ll be round sometime.”

“Okay. I’ll see you when I see you.”

“Okay. Take it easy, all right?”

Ummm. Yeah. I’ll do that…

January 5, 2006 Posted by | daycare, parents, the dark side | 2 Comments

It Gets Weirder

Different parent drops off son this morning, a child who wasn’t here yesterday.

“His mom is home today, but she’s not feeling well, so we thought she needed the day off.”

Pause. I’m not quite sure how to respond to this: “I know just how she feels?” “Yeah, it’s tough to care for a single child when you’re sick?” “Yes, it sure is nice to have a day off when you’re under the weather?” Anything I say will just sound catty.

Dad turns to me. “Oh, and how are you this morning?”

“Oh, about the same as yesterday.”

“Well, have a nice day.”

January 5, 2006 Posted by | daycare, the dark side | 5 Comments