Posted by Duff

Oh, Play Doh® , how I love thee.

When I originally bought you for The Dervish, I thought you’d keep her occupied while I made dinner. I had no idea what a parenting facillitator you’d become.

Because of you, Play Doh:

1. The Dervish has been able to illustrate her take on the world, albeit with my help:  “Mommy, would you make a Daddy, please? Daddy needs a bed, and a pillow, and blanket.”

2. I know that it doesn’t matter to The Dervish if family members are the same color Play Doh, as long as every family member has the same color bed, pillow, and blanket.

3. We have been able to teach The Dervish the concept of adding another to our family. After I added a baby to the mix when creating Play Doh family units on more than one occasion,  she began requesting two parents, a Dervish, and a Baby. She asks that The Baby get (her) own bed, (her) own seat at the table, (her) own food. We cannot move on to the next task until The Baby gets what The Baby needs.

 Let’s see what happens if her real sibling turns out to be a boy. But for the time being, progress.

4. I know I can be resourceful. I initially didn’t think I could create a Play Doh table and chairs, but according to The Dervish, I just needed to put my mind to it and be asked many, many, MANY times in succession.

5. It’s apparent that The Dervish is learning table manners. Even if she is not putting them into practice  during ‘real’ meals, The Dervish instructs the Play Doh family to stay in their own seats and eat off their own plates.

6. I understand why parents often say that girls are bossy/direct play, and as we sit together, creating a small universe, I can help mold the beginning constructs of patience (Mommy can only make one thing at a time), creativity (strawberries come in many colors in Play Doh land) and compromise (if we don’t have enough purple, we might have to use green instead, and the world won’t end).

7. I know I can turn my creative limitations into learning opportunities . When The Dervish asked me to construct a hallway, I finally had to admit I couldn’t deliver. And I introduced her (all two years and nine months of her) to the term ‘abstract’.

8.  I may not get dinner made, but I get to have some fantastic times with my daughter.

So thank you, Play Doh.