Yaakov decided about a week ago that from now on, he goes into gan by himself. Yes, Mr. Clingy said, "Mommy, the morahs said we should come in by ourselves. So don't come in with me." We say goodbye at the gate, and he marches in, tik and all. It's worth the price of admission just to watch him open the door - it's really heavy, so he kind of opens it up slowly and wedges his body in, little by little. But he never turns around and asks for help. Because he is a big boy. Suddenly, this week, he decided to return to his Mr. Clingy. So I went in with him, and there was drama when I tried to leave, the morah thought I initiated this clinginess by insisting on accompanying him inside, when in reality I am perfectly happy to wave goodbye at the gate. I tried to explain that he had reverted back to his old ways, but of course I could barely remember how to say "Yaakov" in Hebrew (it's "Yaakov," by the way), so all that came out was, "Grobby duk blech?"
Anyway, in attempting to part ways amicably, I end up promising Yaakov all sorts of extravagant things in the hopes that he will snap out of his mood and march into gan happily. I refrain from promising food treats, because, you know, we don't want to teach kids that food is the answer to unhappiness or boredom, or that it's a prize for doing something well. Until they grow up, of course, and realize that it is, in fact, the answer to unhappiness or boredom and a prize for doing something well. I treat myself to all sorts of food-related prizes. In fact, the promise of a chocolate milkshake got me through two childbirths.
So on Thursday I promised him playdough. He had been having such a good time with the "batzek" at gan the day before that he didn't want to come home. I told him we would make playdough - sorry, batzek - when he got home. And it worked! For like a second! He snapped out of his clingy mood and was all excited. Until we got to the part where we actually had to into gan and Mommy actually had to leave.
When I got home, I started googling (sorry, Donny, I mean Bing-ing) (no, I really mean googling) recipes for playdough. Whaddya, know, most of the freakin' recipes call for cooking the glob! Ewwww!!! But then I stumbled upon this http://www.naturalparentingtips.com/creative-play/easy-peasy-cook-play-dough/, which does NOT need to be cooked. The only thing I was lacking was cream of tarTAR. And food coloring, of course. So Ariella and I went to the store before picking up Yaakov to purchase the necessary ingredients. (The nice man at Shum Pilpel gently chided me that it is a "powder," not a "cream.")
The batzek was a HUGE success! It was really simple to make - the only part I messed up on was the coloring. I tried to make 4 different colors: Purple, orange, green, and red. I ended up with blue, light green, dark green, and white-with-red-streaks. But no matter. The kids had a blast making cookies and sufganiot and snakes. I even made a snowman, figuring it's the closest my kids will ever get to seeing one.
Also, going along with the whole good-mom thing, when Ariella made a comment about how we can't eat the playdough, I did not pipe up and and tell her that in fact, playdough is non-toxic and even edible (though with a cup of salt to two cups of flour, probably not very tasty.)
Check out the happy Rose children and the cool snowman. (Kappayim to Yaakov for the bellybutton.)
PS Yaakov walked into gan by himself today. Mr. Independence is back. Although based on his penchant for making "mud pies" with wet sand, we have renamed him "Mar Botz." (Mr. Mud.)