Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Memory Story: The day we made play dough

She went down for a nap earlier than usual. Yessss, I thought to myself, it's going to be a long one and I am going to get so much done.

I marinated chicken for dinner and unloaded the dishwasher from last night. I made myself a snack, responded to a couple emails and got to working on photos.

Lately I've been neglecting to turn on the video monitor to her room until a couple of hours have passed of her nap, a sign that I've moved into more relaxed parenting, and also that she's consistent enough in her napping that I can rely on her sleeping a certain amount of time. I should have left it at that today.

This day I turned on the monitor to have a peek at her before I sat down at my computer. There she lay, so peaceful in the corner of her crib. In typical fashion she had bunched up her muslin blanket beneath her belly, hoarding it from the other crib occupants. Her pacifier had plopped out of her mouth.

I was culling through some newborn photos I took this weekend and as I looked at the naked sleeping 2-week-old on my computer screen, it occurred to me that my own child, sleeping peacefully, must be cold. On the monitor , Penny's legs were tucked into her body in the same sleeping pose as baby Blaire's on my iMac. I had to go down there to place a blanket on her.

Back fire. Long story short (ish), when I went down to the basement and into her room, despite my dark tiptoes she felt my presence and stood up in her sleep to be held.  Soon, she was awake.  She was not cold.

half a nap's good enough for me!
So I cut my losses (an hour and a half of quiet at the computer and a well-rested toddler around dinner time) and decided we should make play dough.

I've been wanting to make play dough for a while, remembering the hours of fun I had as a kid sculpting and creating with that homemade salty goodness.

Penny helped.  I used this recipe. It worked like a charm and took like 5 minutes to make.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar (which is actually a powder not a cream, in the spice aisle, for those of you like me who have no idea where to find things like this in the grocery store)
  • food coloring as desired
  • 1 cup flour
  1. Combine water, oil, salt, cream of tartar, and food coloring in a saucepan and heat until warm.
  2. Remove from heat and add flour.
  3. Stir in saucepan, then remove and knead until smooth (I did this on parchment paper, be careful it's hot!). The cream of tartar makes this dough last 6 months or longer, so resist the temptation to omit this ingredient if you don't have it on hand.
  4. Store this dough in an airtight container or a Ziploc freezer bag
adding the food coloring

I look forward to more play dough adventures as she gets a little older.  Today it was about squishing and pulling and, of course, tasting. The dough provided about fifteen minutes of fun before we started throwing it across the room and the fun was over.  But I know our time will come when rolling pins and cookie cutter letters and plastic cups provide hours of fun! 

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