In a way it is what any parent dreams of. Part science, part art, all passion. When Leo started saving his money to spend on giant bottles of glue I was grateful. Finally a sensory experience beyond the world of Minecraft.
I was so naive.
Shaving cream (stolen from the master bath). Fancy shampoo (stolen from out guest bath). Laundry detergent (stolen from the laundry room). Baking soda (stolen from our pantry). Corn starch (ditto) all combined with the giant glue to create, well, my nightmare.
For months we have been living in our very own episode of “You can’t do that on television.” We feature gloppy measuring cups, glittery fingers, pale blue (or pink, or purple, or white) crud crusted end tables. As much as we have gained in mess we have lost in tupperware. It is not all bad: we have a fresh smelling car, a collaborative activity, and best of all we have a laughing Leo.
He is standing at the counter now. “Do you hear this?” he asks as he slaps his latest slab onto our dinner plate with a slurping sound. Why yes I do. It is a mess in the making. He thinks I can’t hear it well enough. He brings his creation over to the loveseat where I sit doing the Sunday crossword and sipping room temperature tea. He has me try. It is cool to the touch, it smells like Aveda, it has a subtle glitter, it crackles lightly in my hand. It is, in fact, a full sensory experience. I flop it onto the plate with a satisfying sound. I smile at him and he beams back at me. Perhaps there is something to the slime. And then he is holding it in his hand watching it drip slowly then not so slowly onto our velvet pillow. “I’m sorry Mama.” He reaches across me for my napkin that caught the crumbs of my cookie breakfast. He knocks over the mug that I have balanced on the arm of the loveseat. It covers the dog in tea who jumps off my lap. This quick motion excites the cat who leaps off the counter in pursuit. As Leo picks at the slime with his fingernail and I dab the tea from the rug leaving the dog wet as can be I notice the cat prints.
She is tracking light blue glue on the floor.
This weekend he turned his hand to oobleck which we all remember fondly from kindergarten. “It is a newtonian liquid” He tells me. He is as fuzzy on the definition as oobleck is on its material status but I appreciate the effort.
I have been out for the afternoon at a friend’s movie premiere. Leo has been creating his own masterpiece. His ingredients are neatly packed in their tupperware (the second to last one.) The slime is stretching to fill its dinner plate. The kitchen is covered in corn starch. The floor, the cabinet doors, the inside of the cabinet door, the sink, the faucet.
I call him in.
“Leo, what happened here?” He arrives from the computer room with a crusty cowlick. He raises one eyebrow. We both know what happened here. He looks again. “I cleaned it!” In fact I can see he tried. There are sponge marks streaking the cabinet. After the sixth attempt at cleaning and the seventh time the corn starch has reappeared like the undead he is defeated.
“Maybe oobleck isn’t the best idea.” He tells me, forehead creased with concern.
“Wait…I have it…Slimebeck”. I am thinking of mice, and of men. Leo is less literary. “Oobleck with slime!” What could be better? He asks, fingers sticky with glue, cheek smudged with shaving cream, kitchen corner collecting corn starch.
What indeed, I think looking at Leo, his eyes shining brighter than the glitter in his hair.
Leo’s slime recipe:
- Select parent’s favorite spatula, best mixing bowl and every measuring cup and spoon in the house.)
- Start with a whole bunch of glue. (like a WHOLE bunch. Although you are decanting into measuring cup do NOT use the measuring marks.)
- Spout shaving cream until it is no longer fun (ie, never)
- Add saline solution to make it too slippery
- Add baking soda to make it too dry (don’t measure, just shake it out so a third of it ends up in the bowl and 2/3 is on the counter)
- Add glue to make it too sticky (a fresh measuring cup is necessary here.)
- Add detergent because it might help (lament addition of detergent. It din’t help)
- Test stickiness on counter (too sticky)
- Test stickiness on hands (too sticky but we wont admit it. All we have to do to remove the slime is use more slime to pick up the slime- problem solved)
- Test stickiness in hair (no comment)
- Add saline (too slimy)
- Add glue (be sure to use the remaining clean measuring cup)
- Add glitter and food coloring (maybe more color- wait too much color- need glue to dilute- which requires saline- then glue- then baking soda)
- Dig up last tupperware from drawer
- Declare it the best slime you have ever made
- Store slime in tupperware