Goodbye Summer, Goodbye Slime

My new favorite phrase is that something is “having a moment.”  It stylishly captures the notion that some thing is seemingly everywhere.  In addition to being stylish, use of this phrase handily allows me to avoid its awkward cousin:  “zeitgeist.”  For example, while travelling abroad, my sister Louise was wont to order an Aperol spritz.  She mentioned that this delicious Italian aperitif was “having a moment” in NYC, and it appeared to be doing so in Germany and the Czech Republic as well.

aperol spritz
Aperol Spritz:  Having a moment

For the under 12 set of Southern Wisconsin, I am loathe to report that the thing which had its moment this summer was, unfortunately, slime.  All I have to do is say the word  “slime” to another caregiver, and a rending of  garments commences as we bewail the misery that is slime.

slime
Slavish creation of slime:  also having a moment

You aren’t familiar with slime, you say?  Well, I don’t speak of anything naturally- occurring or featured in Ghostbusters, nor even any slime that is Asian beauty product related.  Oh no, I speak of that monstrosity promoted by ‘tween You-tubers and created with any number of ingredients.  Regardless of the particular recipe, however, the main ingredients of slime are massive amounts of Elmer’s glue and pure evil.

glue
Avoid any endcaps featuring this product

And just before school let out, the kids were infected by this evil contagion.  The desire for slime infected our entire summer.  I tried to resist.  I’d resisted similar things like Play-Doh, but the slime fever was virulent.  I eventually caved and went out and bought the requisite industrial size Elmer’s glue, shaving cream, and contact solution.  I was immediately disillusioned and, after one afternoon, banned slime!  Or I tried to.  Here’s a sampling of the pro-slime arguments that constituted the sound track of 2017 for me:

“But mom, it’s like science!”  This is true only in the way that Grease II was like Grease.

“Wouldn’t you rather we be creative than sitting in front of our electronics?”  At this point of summer, no.  Your electronics do not produce an ever-escalating disaster, save for the slow erosion of all couch cushions into a pile on the floor.

“We’ll keep it in the kitchen.”  In kid mind this includes the floor.  Recall the new puppy?  Luckily we had taken up most of the rugs during housetraining, and the puppy slime prints were sort of easy to remove.

“…we’ll keep it in on the counter.”  Places I have found slime:  in the track of the sliding patio door, under my pillow, smeared into a screen, in Evelyn’s hair, in the puppy’s fur, on the seat of my toilet.

“…OK, fine, we’ll only play with it outside.”  Have you ever seen what grass coated with slime looks like?  I have.  It adheres with juuuuust enough stick that a broom can’t sweep it up off the floor, this must be accomplished by hand.

“But we always clean it up when you tell us to.”  Mmm hmm.  That’s why I’ve taken to locking myself in my room with an Aperol Spritz  after announcing to the two of them that it is time to clean up the slime.  The only way to truly get two little girls to accomplish a joint cleaning task is to hover over them, referee-like, for the duration of the what is essentially a G.L.O.W. match as both attempt to win by performing as little actual cleaning as possible.  I sip my drink, wait for the screaming to die down, and then exit, always hoping that they’ve somehow adopted my definition of “cleaned up.”  Somehow, despite an entire roll of paper towels having died in the fight, the telltale heart of slime will still beat steadily.

“But mom, it’s the last day of summer.  We just want to spend a last day doing what we think is fun”  Arrrrgh.  You got me with the sentimental ‘last day’ gambit.  OK, fine.  Keep it outside and I’m throwing it all away tomorrow!    (Yelling into the vacuum created by frantic exit of children given permission to make slime).  Did you hear me?  Tomoooooroooooow……

Put a fork in her, she’s done: “Kid Summer” fades to black

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s almost time for the little people to head back to school. As if the numerous back to school sales and advertisements weren’t enough, the naturally occurring signs of the season’s demise are all around us.  And for those previously mentioned little people, the Kid Version of Summer has definitely begun to show its age.  It’s gotten a little bit frayed, worn out, and ready to go in the hand-me-down pile.  I’ve taken a brief inventory of some of the indicators that Kid Summer is ready for retirement.

Top ten indicators that Kid Summer is finished:  

  1. There are no more complete sets of intact flip flops anywhere in the house.  They’ve either all broken, been chewed up by the dog, or disappeared in kicked-off glee.  Because I refuse to buy new ones, my people will shuffle through these last few days with mismatched flip flops held together with duct tape.  Classy.20170823_072823
  2. The list of “summer expectations” is no where to be found.  It was a noble effort, and for a month or so we were pretty good.  No electronics before X,Y,Z, keep up with personal hygiene, rudimentary chores.  About July the list was popsicle stained and rumpled on the front of the fridge.  When I checked today, it was simply gone, a mysterious smeared handprint in its wake.
  3. The sunscreens are all 5/7 empty and choked with sand.  They’re gross, I don’t want them in my bag, but there they are.
  4. The girls’ hair has achieved that “end-of-summer” crispness that only a ruthless trim will take care of.  They swam every day.  The personal hygiene got a little lax.  Instead of the special Swimmer’s Wellness shampoo, I’m pretty sure they were using Old Spice Body Wash on their hair the majority of the time.
  5. There are no areas of their arms and legs that haven’t sustained a mosquito bite or injury.  It’s hard to tell what their actual skin tone is.  Bronze tan, white healing scab, red bite, black dirt.  Did I mention the personal hygiene challenges?
  6. There are 12 incomplete projects ranging from half-done jigsaws to slime to living room forts slowly decaying in various corners of the house.  Any horizontal surface is occupied by a project that GOD FORBID I dismantle, despite all indications that they will never be finished.  And, because the little people are around all the time, I can’t launch my usual stealth dismantling attack.
  7. All of the sidewalk chalks are itty bitty nubs.  FYI, I hate chalk.  I hate how it feels, I refuse to pick it up, and I hate watching the kids draw with it.   But the danger of accidental fingernail scrapeage that these nubbins impart?  Shudder.  Time to close the driveway gallery for the season.20170823_072914
  8. We’ve gone through all of the “Outdoor Shenanigans.”  Every summer, Jimmy stocks up on stuff that makes him quite popular with the under 10 set.  We’ve reached that sad point when all of the glow bracelets, rubber band missiles, stomp rockets, and sparklers are gone.  All that’s left at the bottom of the Shenanigans bin are some of those lame snappers.
  9. Morning preparations seems to drag well into the afternoon.  To the little people, “get dressed and get ready for the day” has come to mean something very far from what I intend.  Lack of practice has lulled them into thinking that I mean “sit on the couch in your pajamas until noon, and by the way I was just kidding about getting yourself breakfast and I’m here to prepare lunch for you on an emergency basis whenever it suits you.”  Dear Lord, please return my routine to me.  I am incapable of holding it together during Kid Summer.
  10. They have, on occasion, looked just a liiiiiiiiiitle bit B-O-R-E-D.resized952017081995083544001002-1.jpg

 

Do you think that a review of these clues will be enough to truly convince them that it’s time to head back to school?