Monday, February 01, 2010

Anything but the Doh

My kid loves Play-Doh. I mean he really digs the stuff. His friend Tessa gave him the mother of all Play-Doh sets for his second birthday. It had like a bajillion jars in every conceivable color, stamps, scissors, molds, a couple of monkeys, a radio controlled airplane, fireworks and a hover craft. Ok, I'm exaggerating a bit--it only had a million or so jars. Chase would request that I get down the bin of Play-Doh every time we were in the basement, and then he would sit at his table creating masterpieces for hours and hours. He'd become so absorbed in his work that I could go upstairs, and he'd choose to stay and play by himself. Sounds dreamy, right?

The problem is what happened after he was done rolling and carving. Nothing. As in no one cleaned up or put the dough back into its container. So it would dry out and crumble all over the table. Then Amaya would find chunks of it that she sprinkled all over the playroom like fairy dust. The room began to feel like one, big Play-Doh graveyard. Needless to say, I was not too upset when the millionth jar finally met its dried-up demise.

But oh the guilt that followed. Chase would ask to play with the Play-Doh. I'd show him the bin that now only contained the assorted molds and tools that hadn't yet disappeared into the great playroom black hole. His eyes would start to mist up and his mouth would form into a drawn out, silent cry of Plaaaaaaaay Doooohhhh.

So, I caved. Despite my absolute loathing of the little squishy, primary-colored blobs of dough, I was swayed by a clearance price and the cute octopus on the box. This happened way back in September--perhaps you remember the post?

Upon returning home, I regained my senses, and hid the box away where the boy couldn't find it.

See that blue furry thing there--I put that over the box so that even if by chance Chase looked in that closet, he still wouldn't be able to see the toy that I was selfishly keeping from him. Yes, I'm that sneaky.

But the guilt kept coming back. I knew that little box would bring him so much joy, but still I kept it locked away. I thought about giving it to him for Christmas, but instead convinced myself that it would be too much trouble to wrap. Even when two feet of snow arrived to strand us inside for a week, I still did not get that box out. Time passed.

Finally four months later, I beat back the selfish monster and opened the box. Chase played for a solid hour with the pink and blue dough. Then he begged and pleaded to open the orange and the green jars, but I put my foot down and refused. There's only so much I can take in one day. Even two colors short of his dream, he couldn't contain his glee.
I am only slightly ashamed to say that I felt a tinge of relief when Amaya didn't seem quite as enthralled by the charms of Play-Doh. More than a tinge really--a heap of relief. A bushel. Still, as I watched them happily in their element, I forgot for a moment why I'd delayed allowing them this amusement for so long.
A very brief moment.

For more Mama Guilt stories be sure to check out Cop Mama's meme.


  1. Ha ha ha, I love the last picture! Too funny!

    Don't feel bad, other than small containers of Play Doh brought home from preschool, I still have not actually bought any for Sprout! Some day, like maybe when he's 12!

    Thanks for linking up!

  2. Ah, don't feel bad at all. It is completely understandable. Thanks for sharing your mama guilt. There are a lot of us guilty moms out there. :-)

  3. We have an old rug under our dining room table. I am just waiting until or toddler stops throwing food to do anything about it! It sees its share of play-doh dried up and made forever part of it!