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.
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.
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.
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……