I am not a "mess" person. I'm sure it's safe to say that most of us aren't, but the degrees to which messes affect us vary and I am towards the "messes kill me" end of the spectrum. For this reason, Play-Doh has become one of my Most Hated Things Ever. I generally will avoid toys and projects for my kids that I can tell will create a giant mess, but Play-Doh is basically an unavoidable rite of childhood passage. So, we have a giant box that holds all of the boys' Play-Doh and various accoutrements, and while I am always grateful for the time that they spend playing with it and therefore leaving me alone, the price I pay in the aftermath is definitely high.
For one, they don't just mold it and squeeze it and make stuff out of it; somehow, they absolutely shred it. They can turn one blob of Play-Doh into literally hundreds of tiny little pieces. How they manage this is beyond my understanding. I first thought that maybe it was happening because the Doh was getting a bit dry and crumbly, but introducing fresh new Doh did not solve the problem. Anyway, these tiny little pieces get all over their clothes, the table, the chairs, and the floor.
Then, two things happen: First, Brandon finds the pieces (like that's tough to do; they're everywhere) and puts them in his mouth. I can usually catch it, thanks to his brothers ratting him out, but for the times it hasn't been caught, I don't even want to know how much he has ingested over the months. Thank God it's non-toxic. As for the digestibility of it, I'm not sure, but he doesn't seem to have any problems filling his diaper, so I guess I shouldn't be worried. Second, they always step on the hundred or so pieces that make it to the floor, dart away from the table, and track it all over the house. That is, what doesn't embed into their socks gets tracked all over the house.
Keeping with my philosophy and practice that my kids can and will clean up after themselves, the boys always do their "best" at cleaning up as much of the play-doh as they can, which is usually not more than about 60% of it. But how much can I really expect from a three-year-old, you know? What they miss, their baby brother finds and eats, or I get to add yet another mess clean-up to my daily routine of cleaning up messes.
So, in short:
This. Fucking. Kills. Me
And it's only a small section, and it doesn't show the tiny little slivers that are all over the place. While I'm at it...
This kills me too.
This was after Brandon had lunch, assuming anything even made it into his stomach. And just so you know, this is usually what it looks like after every meal of his. Every. Meal.
Another item at the top of my Most Hated Things Ever list is Moon Sand. Ever heard of it? A little tip for ya... if you ever come into possession of this devil sand, only allow your kids to play with it outside. And be sure to dust off every inch of them, including their heads, and sometimes even their eyelashes, before allowing them back inside. My kids got some for Christmas last year, and the first time they played with it (which was in the house, because I didn't yet know any better) I was apoplectic after seeing the utter fucking mess that stuff creates. They got it everywhere. In my defense, I was fooled by the fact that it's moldable, and therefore assumed that it would only break up into the hundreds of pieces that Play-Doh does, not the thousands of flying dust particles that it actually breaks up into. And another tip for you: the Moon Dough is exactly like the Moon Sand. It's not like Play-Doh, not at all; it's basically just Moon Sand. In other words, an outside toy. Or something you avoid altogether.