As I guy who cooks, I take special pride when I make something that makes both my children clean their plate. No, I'm not referring to kid-friendly cliches like macaroni and cheese or pasta with some butter and parmesan on it (although, I must admit, I've resorted to that on occasion), but rather something I make that's unusual, tasty, and enjoyed by everyone, adults and kids alike. This is not to say that I'm not often sorely disappointed by my culinary adventures with children. To say that most experiments end badly is an understatement, and for some reason I seem to remain naively hopeful that everything I make will be appreciated by the small people in our house.
One of the most effective ways to keep kids occupied for the last, oh, 40 years or thereabouts has been to give them a tub or two of Play-Doh and maybe the garlic press and let them go to town. It kept you busy and out of your parents' hair when you were little and so it will for your children, too. You recognize that distinctive Play-Doh smell, don't you? Open a tub and take a whiff—nostalgia in a plastic container is what that is.
Play-Doh is, like many things beloved by small children, not without its drawbacks. Most of all, it gets everywhere. Small balls of Play-Doh scattered as far as the eye can see, and of course squished into the rug. Play-Doh of course tells you that it's easy to clean up: simply let it dry and vacuum it out of the carpet.
All hail WD-40, the Miracle Wonder Substance! Not only does it stop those hinges from squeaking and help free up rusted-on nuts and bolts, but I just discovered that WD-40 handily removes crayon marks from furniture. Cool! I also love the smell of the stuff, although it's probably terribly carcinogenic. I wonder what else it can clean around here? I've heard of some guys who use it to glean their barbeque grills, and some swear it makes the food taste better, although I'm not going that far.
After thinking about it for a long time, I decided that my ideal career is that of Househusband. Cleaning, laundry, cooking... all things that give me a certain satisfaction, and staying home and working in the house certainly beats getting up at the crack of dawn and battling the commute on the hell that is southbound 101.