Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Toddler play, holiday boredom, etc

Hi all!

It's been so long between blog posts that Google got all hating on me and forced me to remember long-forgotten passwords.  Anyway, after trying several different combinations and cursing the ludicrously slow internet we seem to have today, I'm in.  I feel like I need a coffee to recover from the stress...

Here's some of our news - Amelie had grommets put in her ears just before Christmas, and I think while she was under the anaesthetic, the surgeons enabled the 'toddler' switch.  She's suddenly doing a whole lot of talking, shouting, laughing, and serious mischief.  Amazing what getting rid of a bit of glue in a child's ears can do!  Some of her favourite games of late are: 'Throwing All the Lego', 'Breaking All the Lego Things', 'Ripping All the Books', 'Taking All the Toys and Running Away', and 'Eating All the Stones'.  Great fun!

One of the perils of being a third child is that your parents are pretty much over the novelty of keeping toddlers entertained by they time you make your appearance.  Especially if you happened to arrive about 4 years after the last one, because now Mum and Dad are busy working, doing ballet recital or swimming lesson drop-offs, helping others with homework, or just generally vainly trying to find a quiet corner to hide in with a coffee and a book.  Things like Playcentre, music and gym classes just seem like way too much work, so they fall by the wayside.  There still remains a nagging sense of guilt though, so today I decided to temporarily switch out of 'Average Mum Mode' and do something fun for the littlest.  And also entertain The Bigs, who are probably spending far too much time playing with Lego or crafting with kilometres of Sellotape to be healthy, these holidays.

Back in the long lost days when I used to regularly do wonderful things with my children instead of relishing their ability to self-entertain, I had a love-hate relationship with play dough.  For one, it took a while to make, and while it seemed like such a great idea to involve the kids in the process, it was a nightmare of steps, hot dough, and watching your gluten-free child like a hawk to stop him eating it and getting sick.  And then it would go hard and crusty between uses, so you'd repeat the process, and then remember why you hated it last time. 

I've seen pictures of 'Cloud Dough' floating about on the inter-webs, so I thought I'd give it a crack.  It really is as easy as it looks and it has a very interesting texture.  Just like Ooobleck!

Here's how you do it:  Chuck cornflour, cheap hair conditioner into a bowl at a 2:1 ratio.  Slop in a bit of food colouring.  Mix and knead.  Done.

I don't know if it will keep for long, but as it tastes foul, it only took one nibble for Amelie to realise that it wasn't food.  It's also gluten-free, though that isn't an issue with Amelie, and Caleb is now (usually) smart enough not to eat it anyway.  On a good day.  It also smells great, in a cheap, nasty conditioner kind of way.

Amelie is not fond of different textures (she insists on shoes outside) so this stuff was a challenge for her initially, as you can see by her intense facial expressions.  She came around to it eventually though, and it kept her entertained for over an HOUR.  Yes, AN HOUR.  The others enjoyed it too, but kids being kids (or maybe just my kids...) the dough soon became Mt Everest, which soon became a volcano, that soon became a pony village, that soon became a troll under a bridge, that led straight back to Lego in the bedroom.

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