Monday, February 27, 2012

Silly Putty Personality

Yes, with 6 kids I'm still brave enough to make messy crafts like
silly putty. I guess I should probably point out we don't actually
make "Silly Putty" because that's some patented, copyrighted or
something, brand name. But we call it silly putty because 1st, we
have no idea what else to call it and 2nd, try explaining to a 4 year
old that it isn't really "Silly Putty".

Silly putty is easy to make but made or bought it's much worse than
playdoh, much like bubble gum. Previous adventures in silly putty
making have resulted in having to cut it out of the carpet. Other
adventures with it included very carefully and time consumingly
picking it out of a child's hair to avoid having to cut it out. Would
you believe she put it in her own hair? And no I don't know why,
according to IQ tests, the SAT, TIP, etc she is really highly gifted.

Yet here I am making it again.

It's no surprise silly putty is so messy and sticky, it's made out of
white glue. If that's not sticky enough the only other ingredient is
laundry starch. So needless to say it's messy from the second you
decide to make it. We all know different kids have different feelings
to getting messy. So we start with pouring the glue. Everyone loves
that part and I was smart enough to let everyone have their own bowl.
Next we add some starch to start. Everyone is even nicely taking
turns. Next we start to stir with a spoon. Though this seems easy we
are already starting to lose them. "This doesn't look like silly
putty", "I need more", "how long do we stir it". Now for the hard
part, kneading it with their hands. Now reactions range from "cool"
to "no way". Some quickly finish getting theirs into silly putty
while others would rather complain that it's sticky, it's not working,
and theirs is ruined.

This is where mommy gets to work out her hands, I think I kneaded at
least 4 of them. It started out as just A2, she immediately said no
way. Not that she played with it after either. She touched it then
immediately wanted to wash her hands. It's interesting that media
make toddlers out to be so messy. She even portrays herself that way
by walking around daily with her face entirely covered in something.
Yet, in reality, the second glue (or syrup or ketchup or...) comes in
contact with their hand it's the Apocalypse.

The next to need help was J4, he wasn't sure what he was supposed to
do and wasn't sure about it once he started. However once it was done
he did play and let it run through his fingers.

S6 would have patiently done it all day but I helped her get finished
up and she was fine with me helping. But once done she wasn't all
that impressed with it.

B11 pouted and whined about how she needed more of this or that. She
was certain her's was ruined. She adamantly did not want help.
Though, she did enjoy kneading it and had she not been so stuck on it
being ruined I sm sure she would have had fun. After a 5 minute
ordeal of how unfair life is she let me help and had a lightbulb
moment that her's was fine. When I wouldn't let her take it in the
living room or bedroom, though, she was done with it. But that's ok,
my carpets have thanked me and I won't have to listen to hubby rant.

E14 is the only one I didn't have to do, in true science loving
fashion she enjoyed herself. Though she remembers our previous
adventures in silly putty whereas some others didn't.

Yes, that means we went through all that for nothing. It didn't even
buy me 5 minutes of play. Let's just hope E14 gets a good grade for
the project she used it in.

How to make your own putty: officially the recipe calls for 2 parts
white (or school) glue to 1 part liquid laundry starch. However I
pour in some glue, add a bit of starch, work it in, add more, work it
in until it's the consistancy I want. I do this because it doesn't
really "mix", you have to work or knead the starch into the
glue/starch mixture.

. Plus, it seems an exact measurement never yields the same results.

Silly putty is so much like kids. Making silly putty never happens the same way. The amount of each ingredient is always slightly different, just like each kid needs slightly different things. Despite the same technique used, each silly putty has a slightly different result, just like siblings all turn out differently once grown. Silly putty is moldable and reactive to the person using it yet it will always be stretchy and sticky. Just like you can mold a child but can't change their personality. If you add too much starch you get slime, not enough and all you really have is a runny glue. There is comparison to kids from making to playing with silly putty. Just as you can clearly see each child's difference as they make and play with silly putty.

I wrote this post last year and never got around to posting it. This weekend we made it again at an event at the university. It's interesting to look back and see how the kids had grown but their "silly putty personality" and reactions didn't change at all.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Where have you been?

Yep, I'm sure y'all noticed me MIA. I could use the excuse I have 6 kids, except I was doing just fine until October. I can't believe I made it all the way to October with my New Year's resolution then fell short in the home stretch.

So what did I do from October to now? Holidays. I kid you not. My holiday season starts at Halloween. I have to shop before Halloween for Halloween but also for my niece's birthday right after. Ok, I confess, this year I didn't even shop for her. I did think about it, I even went shopping. I can't even figure out what to buy my own teenager. I was clueless, I sent money. After that I have a son, nephew and another niece with November birthdays (plus Thanksgiving and Black Friday). Then I have a niece, nephew and my own birthday in December (plus Christmas). We followed Christmas with a trip to Florida before my mom an daughter's January birthdays followed a week later by my other daughter's. Yes, in our house "holiday" season is Halloween to Valentines.

I did do some crocheting. I made a nice sweater that I need to get a picture of plus my husband's own afghan. I did have my son's football season. I did have my daughter's therapies. And my husband started traveling again. It's not like I did "nothing".

Oh oh, and the reason I stopped posting. My phone died. I hate change, what an ordeal. I decided, since I loved the Google and Amazon interface to go with an Android. I loved how user friendly it was. It didn't even last the whole weekend though. Then I went to the dark side and got an iPhone. The kids LOVE getting to FaceTime Daddy when he's gone. I love the reliability. I don't love that it doesn't work with the Kindle app or Google products as easily as the Android did (ok and I liked that little alien robot guy). I have spent the last few months figuring out what I never wanted (a touch screen) and learning how to do the blog, etc on the iPhone (ok, and trying a few games).

I am hoping to spend the next month getting the rest of my done but unposted posts up. Maybe I should set a goal for posting this year. Instead I will just hope not to catch the stomach bug the kids all had, at least not on Fat Tuesday. Then think about this Lent since last year I completely failed at every plan I had. Baby L is older this year (though not any less cranky) so maybe there's hope this year. As with everything else, my mantra will have to be "one day at a time".