(First an apology to all the G. and L. fans out there that I did not take a picture of what I am about to describe. I'll try to do better next time.)
I got a lot of work done in the kitchen yesterday all due to a little bit of salt dough. Earlier in the afternoon, K. had been playing with some dough and it was still on the table when G. and L. arose from their nap. L. climbed up into K.'s booster seat and looked interested, so I helped her to the table and got some dough out for her. She proceeded to cry. I thought if I just let her get used to it a bit, she might decide it was fun. In the meantime, G. trotted around to the other side of the table to see what was up, so I put her in her chair and got another bit of dough out for her. She started to cry.
Thinking that like me, they might not be so keen on getting their fingers messy, I got out some take-out chopsticks that had been stuck in a drawer, broke them apart and stuck each pair into each mound of dough. The crying had stopped momentarily because of curiosity, but began again immediately after the chopsticks went in the dough. I tried to go back to the pie crusts I was making, all the while being serenaded by very sad little girls. It was so pathetically funny, I called J. at work so he could hear the poor children being forced to play with play dough.
He suggested that perhaps they weren't sad about the dough, but that they were disappointed at having been sat at the table and not given actual food to eat. So I gave G. and L. some snacks. This did make them happy, though L. continued to glare at the offending dough. While they were content with their snacks, I went back to my dough. After a while I noticed that G. had begun to poke her play dough and L. discovered it was fun to take her chopstick and gauge out bits of hers.
The investigations continued and after two hours of continuous play (some of which involved sticking the snacks into the dough... much to the disgust of their brothers and sisters), the kitchen floor was fairly well covered in blue and green dough, as were the girls. But they were happy and busy for the those two hours, never even trying to get down from the table once. The 15 minutes of sweeping was a small price to pay for two hours of two happy and contented toddlers.