Play-Doh and a Zen Parenting Moment


Okay, if you don't have (or never had) a two year old, then you probably have no idea of the general chaos I wake up to every morning. If my son is happy, he's usually expressing this by shrieking at the top of his lungs, banging on things and generally running around causing trouble. If he's not happy for some reason, it's mostly the same, but with a completely different tone. Regardless, the days of waking up to a quiet cup of coffee and the news are long gone, replaced by TiVoed Maisy re-runs and sighs of frustration from my beleagured wife following him around with some sort of breakfast food admonishing him to eat, eat, eat!

But yesterday I bought some Play-Doh for Alex and brought it home with me last night ($2 for a four tub pack?!? Amazing!). He's played with it before at his "activities" and at his day care, I've just never seen him play with it. He's just at the right age for it, old enough not to eat it - though he doesn't eat *anything* including actual food, so that's not a problem - and dextrous enough to play without mashing the dough.

So this morning when I woke up, Alex and Ana were playing with the Play-Doh on the coffee table in the living room. And instead of Maisy (who I love, don't get me wrong), was Mr. Rogers. So I sat down and though Alex likes the Play-Doh, he doesn't actually create anything with it yet, so Ana and I started creating little sculptures for him to play with. I haven't touched the stuff in easy a couple decades, so I was just amazed at the tactile feel of it and it's moldability. Take some blue stuff and press against the yellow stuff and it just stays. And then you can separate it again just as easily! It's magic! I had forgotten!

So there we three were, quietly playing with the Play-Doh, the smooth voice of Mr. Rogers explaining something or other on the television and I was like "Wow. This is incredibly mellow." I mean, I use my fingers all day to type, it's been a long time since I actually tried to use them to mold stuff, I was totally into it. First I created a little dog-like thing, then a bus and Alex took them and made the appropriate noises (bow-wow, zoom-zoom) and I was in a Zen like peace. Again, if you don't have a kid you have no idea.


I'm going to get some Play-Doh for my desk! I have some Silly Putty already, but it's just not the same.


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