05 July 2008

How do I loathe playdough? Let me count the ways.

Ever since I saw my younger siblings popping small morsels of colourful, salty playdough into their mouths, I have hated the stuff. HATED it. I cannot touch it, look at it, smell it or even THINK about it without gagging, retching and having to quickly walk away, breathing deeply and saying "Think of the beach, think of the beach, think of the beach."

So let me say it early: I don't want to hear you say, "Have you got a really good playdough recipe, because I've found a great one and you really should try it ..." because seriously, you lost me at "playdo..."

When I was very pregnant with Smoochy Girl, I was doing some speech therapy work with a small preschooler. I'd had a return of the nausea I felt earlier in my pregnancy, so I was horrified to find small bits of dried playdough stuck onto the table we were working on.

As we worked, I looked at the dried playdough, and then I looked away. But I knew the stuff was there so my eyes found it again. Then I looked away again.

I tried to cover it with the worksheets and activities. I tried to shuffle away from it, hoping the boy would follow me. And all the time I was trying to suppress gulps and heaves as the playdough held me in its power.

Imagine my horror when he also saw the playdough, and picked it off! He touched it! And now imagine my total and utter disgust to see him pop it in his mouth as compulsively as my own siblings did 20 years ago and chow it down like it was M&Ms.

Man I hate the stuff.

And of course, this week I have been helping to lead a Kids Holiday Program at our church. I managed to avoid the playdough in the nursery where Sonny Ma-Jiminy and Smoochy Girl were being looked after by cleaning up other messes in other parts of the nursery.

But I wasn't able to make myself scarce when I was asked to supervise a table of older kids playing with the stuff while they waited for their turn to make the craft activity for the day. Sigh. I sat with my eyes fixed out the window, breathing steadily and mentally repeating, "Think of the beach, think of the beach, think of the beach."

They played. I knew the stuff was there, but kept looking out the window or meeting their eyes when they asked me a question. Don't look down, whatever you do, don't look down. There's playdough down there.

And then it started.

"I've made a nest with eggs and baby birds in it," said a boy. "Great job," I murmured.

"Look at my pizza," said three girls, spinning thin discs of aqua-coloured playdough on their hands. "Mmm, I like pizza," I replied truthfully.

"We're making a water park," said two other girls, rolling small balls of dough between their fingers. "I'd love to see how it turns out, "I said, less-than-truthfully.

"I made a TACO!" said a boy, thrusting a smelly aqua mass into my face. And I jumped up, walked around the table repeating, "Think of the beach, think of the beach, think of the beach."

"What's wrong?" they chimed.

"Nothing," I replied. "It's just that I don't like - I mean I really hate playdough. Makes me sick."

They looked at me quizzically. "Why?" asked one interested boy.

"I guess it's from way back when I was a little girl, and my little sister and brother used to - you know - (gulp) eat it. (Heave)."

"I like to eat it," said a boy, and either pretended to eat some playdough, or actually did eat some.

And that's where my story ends, because I don't remember much more. Repression is my Playdough Coping Strategy.


mommastantrum said...

Playdough...the word even sounds disgusting. Although it doesn't make me as ill as you, it does bother me to have to clean it up/smell it/see it etc. It should be banned.

Gramma 2 Many said...

Just came over to comment on your 4th of July question. I don't know!! Actually we often say July 4th also. But you know we Americans are a bit contrary at times. If we can be difficult we will. Why conform?
I also hate playdough. Never let my kids have it if I could help it.

tinsenpup said...

I love fresh, warm playdough. Sigh... The smell of it; the feel of it. Rest assured, I don't eat it though and tolerate none to do so in my presence.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

The smell of it makes me feel a little barfy too. I used to throw it away whenever the boys were not looking.

Lynda said...

The way you feel about Playdough is how I feel looking at photos of babies covered in spaghetti. Or any meal that never makes it in their mouths, but all over their faces, hair, hands, and high chair - blech!

WheresMyAngels said...

There is some weird jello stuff that was made in one of the big cake molds and it smelled like play dough, I never tried it and never would cause I couldn't imagine it not tasting like play dough (not that I ever tasted it).

Heather said...

....So then I guess this:


isn't the thing to get you for Christmas?

Oh, well.

(Personally, I loooove the smell of fresh Play-Doh. Mmmm, Play-Doh.)


Dee from Downunder said...

Eating playdoh at our kindy gets you banned from the table. I make it at home, but the girls dad HATES it.