Family life

I hate Play-Doh (and other true mom confessions)

Tracy comes clean about some of her real-life mom confessions.

By Tracy Chappell
I hate Play-Doh (and other true mom confessions)

Avery with her Play-doh pumpkin creations.

Avery and I spend Fridays together now — I don’t work and Anna is in school all day — which gives us the opportunity for some lovely one-on-one time. I cherish these days. I don’t really make a plan, we just do whatever we feel like doing (and also run errands when we need to) and it’s a good opportunity for Avery to take the reigns and have all of my attention for a change. Except last week. Last Friday she wanted to dig out the Play-Doh.
I hate Play-Doh. I hate the smell. I hate that ours is all the colour of blue-ish mud. I hate how hard it is to get out of all the little crevices of the Play-Doh contraptions (you’d think, after all these years, they could build them better!). I hate that after a playdate with Play-Doh, I find little bits of it everywhere. I used to have an unofficial ban on it, successfully hiding our stash in my home office, but then I did some Today’s Parent toy testing and — wouldn’t you know it — we were given Play-Doh. Princess-themed Play-Doh, no less; everything parents loathe and little girls adore wrapped up in one pretty package (and they did indeed give it two enthusiastic thumbs up and I’ll admit that it wasn’t hard to get it out of crevices).
Avery wouldn’t let up on the Play-Doh, so I got it out of its hiding place. She was in her glory. She had the princess castle, the ice cream parlour and the fridge with food moulds and was playing hostess, serving the world’s best (smelliest, blue-ish brown) gourmet delights. Me? I pretended to munch it all down with a grateful smile. Until I excused myself to unload the dishwasher… then throw a load into the washing machine… then make a quick phone call. Sorry, Miss Avery — but I just hate Play-Doh. Luckily, it was like the end of prohibition for Avery and she barely noticed I was gone.   
Later, I couldn’t help but wonder what was wrong with me. Couldn’t I just suck it up for more than a few minutes for my daughter’s sake? But I’m sure I’m not alone in my Play-Doh abhorrence. Why not just admit it?
Why not just admit all the parenting shortcomings I keep squashed inside? Here are a few more:

  1. My six-year-old can’t tie her shoes. Why? Because I’ve never taught her. Damn Velcro.
  2. I don’t buy organic. (Though I do try to buy local.) I don't even like to cook. I know lots of parents who love to spend time whipping up concoctions in the kitchen, but I’m not one of them. 
  3. My kids’ bedtime is, hands-down, my favourite time of the day. (Not in a “Let’s cuddle and chat” kind of way, but in a “Hurray, the kids are in bed!” kind of way.)
  4. I don’t really like playing. Let me qualify that: I like going to the park and playing board games and doing dance parties and crafts and painting. I even like playing school or restaurant (sans Play-Doh). But my kids are very into imaginative play with little figures and Barbie dolls, etc. and they beg me to join them and I. Just. Can’t. Do. It. I’d almost rather have dental work.
  5. I like my kids — and parenting in general — much better these days, with the girls at age six and four. I found the baby and toddler years very tough. We had wonderful times, rest assured (and my faithful readers have read all about those precious moments here), but I feel much more content in motherhood these days than I did in those. I find a lot of joy in our conversations, which are getting more and more interesting by the month.

 Ahhhh… I feel better already. 

OK, your turn to spill. What are some of your real-mom confessions?

This article was originally published on Oct 15, 2012

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