I remember the moment perfectly, as one does in hindsight. Our bags were packed, all the Christmas presents stuffed in suitcases. We were leaving momentarily for the airport, and then I saw it, sitting innocently on an outside table. Moon Dough. Oh, how I woe thee, Moon Dough.
What possessed me to go and grab the bag of Moon Dough that someone had given to one of the kids as a present, I’ll never know. I had seen the mess it made. The kids would never have remembered if it had been “forgotten” in Mexico. But something deep inside me – deep, deep, in my inner motherhood – made me go and get it at the last second and stick it in a suitcase. How I wish I could turn back time.
I fucking hate Moon Dough.
I was so sure, at first, that this relationship would be different than the one I had with Play Doh, which I despise one notch above Moon Dough. Play Doh plays itself off as the perfect toy, but it’s all a LIE. A dam lie, I tell you. Sure, Play Doh may entertain children for hours with kinetic play and the use of their imagination, but what about after? You know, when the kids have grown bored and moved on, leaving the Play Doh in crumbles everywhere, nothing put back in its containers, little bits stuck to the carpet everywhere? What does Hasbro have to say about that?
So, upon discovering Moon Dough, which promises to never dry out, I was enthusiastic. At last, my Play Doh problems would be solved. Oh, rejoice! I could finally break up with Play Doh and put that relationship behind me. And none to soon, for I was starting to resent Mr. PD and his crumbly mess.
But soon, my heart was broken. The pattern was repeating itself. Moon Dough WAS EVERYWHERE in my house. To it’s credit, it didn’t dry out, but like ants, it spread. I would clean up one patch on the floor only to find more. Where was it all coming from????? Every time I looked, there was Moon Dough on the floor, on tables, in doll houses, bedrooms, play kitchens. My god, how much did I bring back with me??? Did I bring back Moon Dough or some sort of plague? Did I need to call the Center for Disease Control?
For a while, I would bag it all up the best I could. Something in me just couldn’t throw it away. And then, today, I snapped. I HAD HAD IT. After vacuuming the entire play room, I was still finding pieces of that dam clay. That was it. RELATIONSHIP OFFICIALLY OVER. I grabbed the bag of Moon Dough and shoved it to the bottom of the trash. (My kids have a unique ability to somehow find whatever I throw away of theirs.)
I won’t be able to rest until the garbage men come tomorrow and take it away. I am living in fear that one of my kids will discover it at the bottom of the trash can. But for now, I am content to look around and see that my house is Moon Dough free. Except for that one little piece over there. Dam it.