Josie’s Surgery + How Crazy Aaron’s “Mixed by Me” Thinking Putty Saved Us

Josie, our nine-year-old with 22q Deletion Syndrome (plug that #22qawareness, what what) had a surgery last week on her airway to help improve her speech. Her speech has never been intelligible; we’ve worked with AAC devices and learned a bit of ASL. However, in a last Hail-Mary-rollercoaster attempt that took most of 2017, we persuaded a surgeon to ignore the department head SLP’s (very wrong) recommendation that Josie didn’t need further surgery. Turns out that Josie was a great candidate for a pharyngeal flap revision afterall. So last week, long overdue, that is what happened.

We’re now back home after a few days in the PICU, and Josie’s doing great. We’re already seeing improvements with her speech. So yay!

What’s this about Thinking Putty though? As a parent of small children with one having complex special needs, we have spent a lot, a lot, a lot of time in medical wait rooms trying to find ways to keep everyone happy. We are kind of pros by now. There’re coloring books, the iPad; there’re snacks; there’re silent pleas to God that everyone will just sit down and stop yelling. Actually my Tegu review also features another hospital wait room come to think of it.

But my new secret weapon is definitely the Mixed By Me Thinking Putty kit by Crazy Aaron’s. Next time they go on sale at Timberdoodle, I’m buying like 5 more kits. Seriously. Need to send a care package to a kid living out of the hospital? Trapped at the DMV with little ones? Want to keep their little hands busy for any length of time?  Thinking putty all the way.


The kit comes with everything you need: containers, mix-ins (that are also in putty form and happily NOT food coloring or liquid as I suspected initially), colored pencils and extra labels — even a mat to protect your work surface and give ideas on mix-in combos. This stuff sparkles, shimmers, AND glows in the dark.

As we waited during Josie’s operation last Tuesday for several hours, my children were completely entertained. As we ambled back and forth doing the switch-off dance of juggling kids between parents, my kids happily stretched and squished putty. For days.

Now my warnings are this: at some point, your child is probably going to drop this putty. If he drops it onto his shoes, as mine did, it may become glued to his shoes. Likewise, if he drops it on the bathroom floor in the hospital, he’s probably going to pick up a special gastro mix-in, and bring back gastro-putty. I do not recommend keeping putty dropped on germy surfaces because your whole family may or may not come down with gastro the week following. No comment there. Also, if your child plays with this product in a hotel bed, there is a chance housekeeping is going to wonder what on earth the green blobs smeared into the white sheets are. Or maybe they don’t wonder because not thinking about these things keep them sane. Either way — use your discretion with Thinking Putty at home and on the road. It’s putty after all! But even with these warnings and mishaps, I absolutely love, love, love the Mixed by Me Thinking Putty Kit from Crazy Aarons! Totally saved my sanity and patience in what was a very stressful situation. Goes without saying, the kids give it full marks too.

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