Thursday, 12 June 2008

Why I Need An Expensive Counsellor (also known as: If I Ever Have to Play Trains Again, Someone Order Me a Lobotomy)

My little man is train mad. I've established this. Some people think he might just be a wee bit interested in trains. How wrong can you be? Totally. This obsession is hinged on a permanent train track set up in our living area. Makes for great night-walking episodes tripping over bridges and treading on small train parts. Ouch. But we're not allowed to pack them away, because that's where the trains sleep.

I wake up in the morning and one of the first things I am greeted with: "Mum, want to play trains?"

Sure. The 18th of Never suit you?

But I can't be so rude to my three year old. He loves the trains. Lives, breathes, even sleeps with his favourites on his pillow at night. He's now even started asking me to shape his hair into a train when we do the shampoo ritual at night. Plus he's informed me that he's not a 'dude', "I'm a train driver aren't I mummy?".

Sounds kind of cute? Well multiply all of the above by about a billion and then multiply that again by the number of days in a week. I. Really. Don't. Want. TO PLAY TRAINS!

I've tried suggesting other things, other interesting projects, crafting sessions (where I get to draw trains or even make drawings for his favourite trains), dinosaur excursions, but no, the boy is stuck - a steadfast train devotee. The Rev. W Awdry has a lot to answer for.

So this morning took us on a happy, joyful, therapeutic (for me) path. He wanted to play with playdough.

We whipped up a fresh batch, actually two. I took my frustrations out on that playdough. Here's our beautiful colours that I thought were going to immediately be melded into one - but nope, he's kept them separate this time. There's nothing quite so good as moulding fresh playdough, it's a great stress reliever, and just the making of it is fun, and easy for toddlers to be involved with (though this is cooked playdough - so the stirring is strictly for the mama).

Here's the recipe for this playdough (and it works well as a half batch as well).

From the pantry:

1 cup salt

2 cups plain flour

4 tablespoons of cream of tartar

2 tablespoons of cooking oil (we had to use extra virgin and it's fine)

2 cups of water

non-toxic powder paint or food colouring


In a large saucepan add all the ingredients* (except the food colouring), mix well. Add food colouring. Mix. Cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture becomes stiff. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator. You can add colour at the end, you just need to knead through, but makes a nice marbled effect.

* I suggest sifting the flour and salt to eradicate any bumps and lumps.

We've already made fresh pies this morning. Anyone want a sample?

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Good idea that playdough - isn't it! When Noah is older, you can also make the playdough in a big bowl and just add boiling water (Mummy do it) and mix from there, no heating in a saucepan necessary. Have lots of playdough fun.