Lately, we’ve been having a lot fun making shiny purple crabs out of play-doh. We also make frogs, snails, and the occasional poop because all kids love making play-doh poop and so do I. My daughter also invented what she calls a “Cinnamon Twist Hair” – which is when you put a cinnamon bun on an animals head as a haircut.
Something I realized is that I’m constantly afraid of the play-doh sitting out too long and getting ruined, even though it’s only a $1 can (bottle? cylinder?). I have some sort of play-doh anxiety. While we’re playing I’m constantly checking for how it feels, alerting of hardening conditions, and recovering lost crumbs from the ground quickly.
As a kid, play-doh was this sort of “holy grail” of American Toys™. It wasn’t something you could find in a store, so we only got it when we travelled to the U.S. or if someone brought us some back as a gift. It was pretty rare stuff. We’d have 1 or 2 cans of play-doh that we’d have to make us last for 5+ years. I was so afraid of loosing a crumb or making it go stale that I just ended up never opening it.
One of my favourite gifts I received as a kid was from my mom just after I had gone through Tonsil surgery.
When you’re a kid and you’ve never seen anything like a Post-It Note, it’s really magical. Colourful, square, sticky, paper?? I kept the Post-It’s for 14 years in a box of special things (until my dad tossed them, probably thinking they were garbage).
Sometimes I do have these strange bonds with mundane things like Post-Its and Play-Doh, and it can be hard to explain and it’s even hard to understand why those things still affect me much later in life. As odd as it seems, I like to think that it’s a reminder for me to keep learning to appreciate things that might seem minuscule to me but that in fact can be full of wonder and excitement.
One of the highlights of Summer 2020 so far has been finding Jim.
We were walking around the yard and Amalia spotted this thing that looked like an egg! After a quick Google reverse-image search, we figured out it was a moth pupae.
We named it Jim, and put it somewhere safe to check on every day.
We checked. every. day.
There were times we thought Jim was dead, other times we could see him wiggle, but surely it can’t take this long to pupate?
What is really interesting is that the caterpillar does not actually grow into a moth per say; it goes through a process called histolysis. There is a special group of transformative cells which remain, dormant, inactive, and unseen during the pupal stage of a caterpillar’s life. These cells break the caterpillar down until it is nothing more than a pile of cells, more or less an accumulation of goop. Now it is ready to reform itself into a moth.