Kneading Slime: Are You Raising Slugs?

Making a goo called slime is the biggest middle school craze sweeping across North America. Green slime has been synonymous with Nickelodeon since its introduction on the game show You Can’t Do That On Television. It was usually dumped on a person’s head as a gag called being slimed.  Slime is now a staple of the networks Kids’ Choice Awards.

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Now kids want to make this glutinous goo themselves to knead, fold and pop- at school, at home, at friends’ houses.  They make it in different colors with lotion, borax, soap, food dye and glue.  Young entrepreneurs are cashing in by turning their kitchens into workshops and selling it at school or online. Many moms think it’s just an innocent pastime.

“There are a lot worse things they could be doing,” a mom said to me after a slime making party this week.

I guess she was alluding to underage  vaping, another fad where middle school kids inhale and exhale the vapor produced by a battery-operated electronic cigarette. Most e-cigs have nicotine and other chemicals.

But there is concern on the part of some medical professionals that one of the ingredients in slime could be toxic.  They say using a laundry soap like borax as a toy isn’t a good idea. The Canadian government’s health department has even issued a warning. But opinion is mixed. Other experts say handling the detergent is fine if it’s used in small amounts and not rubbed in the eyes or ingested. If you’re worried, Today’s Parent magazine offers a cornstarch slime recipe.

Whether it’s harmful or not, the whole thing seems a little too much like nursery school to me.  Slime requires a lot of cleanup.  After years of getting Legos, Play Dough, and Silly Putty off the floor now it’s slime stain out of the carpet.  I went to a parenting seminar last night at my church.  Parents were concerned that teenagers aren’t helping out around the house.  Is this new fad good, clean, “slimy” fun or are we raising a group of self-indulgent children who are taking their cues from social media?  It seems that kids spend too much time watching  YouTube videos on anything from how to French Braid to making another gooey concoction called Gak.  Our kids worry more about posting a four-second photo on Snapchat than learning an old family recipe that they could serve to their kids someday.   If middle school kids want to whip things up in the kitchen, how about learning how to cook and helping with the dishes.

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Or better yet, if  an adolescent wants to use borax, I’ve got a load of dirty laundry with their name on it.  By the way, if your child is acting like a lazy slug leaving a trail of slime wherever they go, you might want to hide the salt shakers.



Are Repairs Throwing a Wrench in Your Plans?


If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  But what if everything is broken.  I don’t know about you but I’m sick and tired of calling repairmen to fix my appliances.  Repairs are throwing a wrench in my plans.

They don’t make appliances the way they used to.  I haven’t had a working washing machine for two weeks.  All I do is go to the laundromat.

I bought the washing machine about a year ago and it’s already leaking.  I took the extended service plan. Look where it got me. The appliance store sent a repairman from the company that made the machine.

The repairman broke the machine.  He blamed me for making him break it.  “If you didn’t insist that I fix it,” he said, “it wouldn’t have broken.”  He also scolded me for overloading the machine when he found a sock stuck in the pump.  He broke the entire inside drum of the machine and here’s what the box  looked like when the new part came.

The repairman conceded that they don’t make appliances the way that they used to.  He said appliances don’t last because they make them out of  plastic.   “You wouldn’t want to pay three times the price for steel parts would you?” he asked.   What is your time worth? I feel like a desperate housewife who needs an extended warranty that would cover patience for repairs.   It’s taken two weeks to schedule  appointments to have the machine fixed.  According to the most recent  Consumer Reports customer survey on electronics buying,  people who have a service plan are more likely to have repairs done wrong the first time and to wait at least two weeks for the repair.  I think mothers  bear the brunt of waiting for repairmen.  It’s always these four-hour service call windows. Can you imagine a mom trying to get away with that.  “Mom, when will dinner be ready?” your starving child pleads.  “Oh, sometime between 6:00-10:00p.m. depending on whether I have to make dinner for a child ahead of you?”

This year the fan broke in a bathroom, a kitchen faucet exploded, and an entire upstairs shower leaked through the living room ceiling for the second year in a row.  I had to have my floors redone this past summer because the dishwasher flooded the same kitchen floor that was just ruined by the leaking washing machine.  Now the front lawn was torn up by a snow plow that knocked over my mailbox.  My car engine died.  I had it fixed but the check engine light kept coming on.  I bought a new car this week.  It looks like I purchased a lemon. Before I  drove it off the lot, the service department had to squeeze me in for repairs. I’m driving a loaner.  No matter how you slice it, all of this is  leaving  a bitter taste in my mouth.  When life gives you lemons, make lemonade but be sure to substitute vodka for water.