Some Thoughts on Playdough

Dear Katie,

Okay, so I don’t let you mix your playdough colors.  (Perhaps we’ll be paying for your therapy one day, but I’m willing to risk it.)

I have a couple of reasons for this…

1) I have OCD.  I won’t sugar coat it.  Something about the mixing of the colors makes me a little crazy.  I like things just so, and trust me, I have actually become far more laid back since you were born.

2) I was brought up in New England, and while you can take the girl out of Maine, you can’t take Maine out of the girl.  Mixing playdough (or staining your clothes, or breaking your toys, etc.) feels wasteful.  Your daddy and I were both raised by parents who had to make a little go a long way financially.  We didn’t have as much as many of our peers and we learned to take care of the things that we did have, as replacement toys, markers, shoes, clothes, etc. weren’t easy to come by.  I want you to have a bit of this in you.  I want you to treasure your things almost as though they are the last that you’ll have.  I want you to be respectful and conscientious; I want you to respect your things and those of others.  I don’t think that you can go wrong with viewing things as this special.  This is why we don’t buy you everything that we would like to (and trust me, it is an exercise in restraint, as we would love to give you the world).  We want you to experience the feeling of wanting something and then appreciating it once you have it; sometimes the beauty in having something is in the anticipation you feel before you actually have it.  You’ve already begun your birthday list for this year (trains, trains, and more trains!).  I like that you don’t think that we can just go to the store and buy you whatever you want.  Delayed gratification can be a good thing.

I also want you to realize how hard Daddy works so that Mommy can stay home with you.  I want you to know that life presents us with choices and I want you to learn that some things are worth sacrifice.  Yes, I know that you are two. But you won’t always be.  You will be 12, 22, 32…this is a lesson that I think will serve you well.  It is my sincere hope that others will appreciate your thoughtfulness, you will take pride in your things, and you will appreciate the little things in life.  You’re off to a great start, Katie.

Whew…strong feelings about playdough, huh?  ;)

I love you,


  1. andygirl

    aw! so sweet. I fear I will be the same way with my babes. mostly because of the OCD.

  2. I love this! I'm just like you in #1 which is why I've started something with my kids called "crazy mommy time" – I always have to keep things just so and I never let loose and it's time to do that. I do though think learning to take care of things is a great lesson you are teaching her. My dad made me make my bed every single day since I had the ability to do so and I still do today.

  3. Megan-Best of Fates

    Man, even at the beginning you were good.


  4. I let Child A mix his playdoh colors.

    But I had to take a Xanax to do it. ;)

  5. mad woman

    And I love you.
    How would you feel about drafting some letters for me? Or if just take a snippet here and there for my own letters?

    This is why you're my hobbit.

  6. Tracie

    I was never allowed to mix play doh colors.

    I didn't let my daughter do it either….then one day I had a meeting and while I was gone, her daddy decided to play with the 'doh with her.

    Lesson: Once they mix, you can never go back.

  7. I was raised the same way, and it serves me very well. My youngest sister is 12 years younger, and is being raised in a very materialistic instant gratification kinda way, and I don't even KNOW her – her attitudes are completely foreign. Way to go :)

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