Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Eat The Paste!

A Kindergarten classroom at Robinson School, circa 1978.

"Now when you have this, you're going to paste these two together like this."

"Ewwww. Chris is going to eat the paste!"


"He eats the paste!"

The teacher lowers her voice to a loud whisper. "You're not going to eat the paste, are you?"

A snaggle-toothed grin creeps onto the face of the curly-headed kid sitting at the table next to three girls. The target of their concern sits in the middle, lumped into a Fleischmann's margarine cup. That is the first mistake.

If you want to break a kid of a questionable habit, don't make it attractive. Kindergarten paste looks like butter. It sort of tastes like it too. I don't know what was in there, but my recollections square with one recipe I found on the 'net:
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Sugar
4 Cups Water
1 tsp. Alum
30 drops of clove oil
Mmmm, tasty. I'm not sure about the Alum, although it's supposed to keep moisture out. But one teaspoon, meh.

Young children have a storied reputation of eating beyond the kitchen table. In that way, they're not that much different than dogs. One of my young nieces used to eat crayons. Now you know why Crayola puts "Non-Toxic" on the box.

You don't want the kids slurping down Elmer's Glue, so you have to come up with a stomach-friendly adhesive. But does it have to taste so good? Maybe put some curry powder into the recipe, or Tobasco sauce or cayenne peppers. That'll break a bad habit, but it could also start another one. The kids don't need to be daring each other to spread it onto their tongues.

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