On Thursday we made homemade play-doh.

Wait, let me back up a bit.

Thursdays are Jake’s loooong days, starting with a 6:30 AM Bible study he teaches and ending when he returns from his night class at 9:00 PM.  So Thursdays are a bit of a struggle for me.  I’m still learning how to handle both girls by myself for so long (I know, I know, some moms do this on a daily basis — but I’m not one of them, so I haven’t worked out all the kinks yet!). 

Fortunately I have some wonderful friends and neighbors who help out.  Nonetheless, this is a long day for all of us and I usually find myself dreading it.

This past Thursday, things were going pretty well.  The baby actually napped for a while in the morning and I got some chores done.  It was very rainy so we couldn’t go out, and I decided to make some homemade play-doh with Adeline in the afternoon.  I felt like SuperMom — a semi-clean house, everyone fed, and a craft project, all on the day I’m operating solo?  What a great day, I’m thinking.

But when I suggest to Adeline that we make clay, she tells me she’d rather watch Arthur.  My heart drops (much the way it does when I ask if she wants to go outside and she says she’d rather watch a movie — what have I done wrong?!).  I try to make this clay-making endeavor sound really appealing — she usually loves to help measure and mix ingredients.  Still no dice.  She asks if she can play with her real Play-Doh.

So I decide to start mixing up the clay myself, figuring she’ll want to come help when she sees me get out the flour and the measuring cups.  She does.  And for a while it’s all fun.  Until I have to cook the clay on the stove.  Then she’s done helping and starts crying for her real Play-Doh.

Finally, finally, our homemade clay is ready (it really doesn’t take that long, but when you’re trying to impress a two-year-old, more than a minute is too long!).  I let Adeline touch it.  She seems interested.  I show her how we can dye it with food coloring.  She likes that part.  But as soon as that’s over and I suggest we play with it, she says, “Can I get my big Play-Doh?”  Then she asks again if she can watch TV.


SuperMom I am not.

But if you want to try, here’s the recipe:

1/2 cup salt
1 cup white flour
1 cup water
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Mix together in a saucepan and cook on low, stirring constantly, until the mixture forms a ball.


8 thoughts on “Thursdays

  1. Oh, Sara I can completely relate.

    I think you are SuperMom with two very cute super girls.

    Hailey can not wait to play with Adeline again, she still talks about what fun she had that weekend.

  2. Kids. The fickleness of two-year olds is especially trying. Case in point: I ask Abram what he wants for breakfast, and he says, “A cookie and a piece of candy.” I tell him no, and asks again. He says “Creme-a-wheat” (Cream of Wheat). So I make it and mix it with with butter, brown sugar and milk (Delicious, right?). When he sees it he cries actual tears and says, “I hate creme-a-wheat!”

    I always find myself wondering how these mothers toting 6 children around find the strength, patience and time to… breathe.

    • Oh, goodness, that is Adeline exactly! One morning she cried because the sun was out and it wasn’t nighttime. One morning she cried because I had my glasses on! And she always asks for candy for breakfast.

  3. Sara, just because some moms are alone with their kiddos for so long everyday doesn’t make it ideal. I really think we are too isolated in the US in that way, expected not only to love unconditionally from the first moment we see them, but to always love being with and entertaining our children. It’s just not realistic. I struggle with the TV thing, too. We frequently have “no TV week” in our home to help find balance. Some days are awesome and they play & imagine their hearts out, and some days they are begging to watch Peep and the Big Wide World or Harry Potter. I guess I don’t have any epiphanies about this, except “keep at it.” 🙂

    • Thanks, Lindsey. I agree about us being too isolated — with many people moving away from their families and there being just a lack of community in general. I remember reading the blog of an Asian woman who had emigrated to the U.S. when I was looking for instructions about how to use a mei tai. She was explaining how to do a back carry, and she said something like, “In my country (I forget where she was from) there would always be another adult around to help you put the child on your back.” My jaw literally dropped. Always another adult around? I couldn’t imagine what that would be like.

  4. You are a SuperMom in my book, Sara! 🙂 Your post just reminds me how we moms are just too hard on ourselves. I’ve been finding myself frustrated lately because my kids will NOT eat anything I make–except sugary things or frozen premade chicken strips. Ugh. I agree with Lindsey about us being too isolated (especially us stay-at-home moms). Speaking of- we need to get together! Maybe this coming Thursday? Do you have plans? Hope you were able to get outside yesterday-we had beautiful weather after all that rain.

    • We’re in the same boat. Adeline only wants to eat junk food, and I don’t have the energy to argue all the time (or the energy to make healthy alternatives, for that matter).
      Thursday would be great — hopefully the weather stays nice. We’ve been loving it!

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