Whoever created, marketed and convinced children that that they needed slime doesn’t care about your adult happiness
OPINION: My kids got to go to a slime museum in New York City during their spring break, and it went about as well as you could imagine.
Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.
As to not bury the lede, let me start off by saying that I hate slime. I was grossed out by the slime when I saw people get doused with it on the Nickelodeon show “Double Dare” in the 1980s, and unlike some of my friends, I never wanted the experience of having buckets of it dumped on me. It always seemed so nasty, like it would never come out of your clothes or hair. I was never one of those kids who wanted to buy buckets of it or get some glue, baking soda or borax to make it at home. I definitely didn’t want any glitter to bedazzle it up. I’m not saying that I’m anti-slime, but I definitely have no love for the kiddie catnip.
My disdain is mostly practical — a practicality that has followed me into adulthood and parenting. You see, once slime enters your home — much like Legos — it becomes one with your home. You (seemingly) spend the better part of the rest of your life finding and being irritated by remnants of your child’s temporary fascinations. Cheerios-in-cars is a similar experience; I don’t even buy Cheerios for my kids anymore and I’m STILL finding oat circles in crevices in my car. Slime, though, is forever.
Why am I talking about slime right now? I’m glad you asked. Last week in Washington, D.C., was spring break for the public and charter schools in the nation’s capital. Like many parents, we took the opportunity to find an excursion and that led us to New York City where my wife curated a fun assortment of highly recommended-by-her-homies activities and locales. One such locale was the Sloomoo Institute, located in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan. The Sloomoo Institute’s about page has this as its first sentence: “Sloomoo Institute celebrates joy through sensory play. The mission: embrace the power of #satisfying through vivid color, the sense of scent, tactile compounds, and captivating visuals and sounds.”
Now THAT is how you bury the lede. The Sloomoo Institute is a slime emporium where you get to play with all types of slime and smell all the good ways you can make slime smell amazing. You can look at and touch slime walls, do some ASMR slime experiences, get doused with slime if you want, and the coup de grace, you get to make your own slime. For the parents reading this, you know where this is going … but allow me to continue. My kids, they made slime. (Full transparency: My kids loved this place and if you don’t have an aversion to slime — heck, even if you do — it’s a fun place; everybody in there seemed to truly enjoy touching all of the slimes and playing with all of the displays and exhibits they had.)
As a quick aside, I tried not to poo-poo this particular adventure. Kids love slime like they love balloons and cardboard boxes and water. I don’t even know why we get them real gifts; If you put two balloons, a cup of water and some slime in a cardboard box it seems like kids from ages 2 to 9 will be just fine 99% of the time. So yeah, I want my kids to enjoy life and have fun doing things that I’m too old to appreciate. Slime, though, is evil. It gets in your clothes and in your soul and in your carpet and on your couch and NEVER COMES OFF. I know this first-hand, fam. And I know this first-hand because I have four kids who have all, in their own unique way, left lasting, permanent impressions in this house with markers, bubble soap and, you guessed it, slime. Whoever invented slime either didn’t have kids or owned a workshop or lived in a house that had rooms kids couldn’t go into … and the kids listened. I definitely went into the rooms I wasn’t supposed to go into.
Anywho, my kids made slime. And that was the day we were driving back to Washington, D.C. Slime in the morning, Battery Park in the afternoon and a drive home in the early evening. We got into the car, and one of my kids asked to play with his slime. Now, me? I’m practical, remember. I was against it from the jump but moms love happy kids and well, exactly what I thought might happen, happened.
I don’t quite understand the physics of this but let’s just say that my son opened the container with slime and then the slime was EVERYWHERE. It was all over the back seat and on his booster seat and his pants and his jacket and on the sides of my car — it still hasn’t come off. My wife had to climb into the third row and literally undress this boy because his entire outfit was soaked with slime. He looked like somebody dumped it all over him. He had to ride from New York City to Washington, D.C., in his underwear and get carried into the house once we got home. I had to throw away his clothes, jean jacket, and booster seat, and scrub the back seat. Because of slime.
I wish I could say somebody learned a lesson here. We got in the house and well, my OLDEST son took out the slime and got it all over the couch and my prized Morehouse College blanket that lays atop the couch. Neon-yellow slime is now part of the living room decorations. Why? Because it’s slime and slime doesn’t come out like you think it would. Because why would it? If you buy my kids slime, I do not like you. And I mean it.
I … hate slime.
Panama Jackson is a columnist at theGrio. He writes very Black things and drinks very brown liquors, and is pretty fly for a light guy. His biggest accomplishment to date coincides with his Blackest accomplishment to date in that he received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey after she read one of his pieces (biggest), but he didn’t answer the phone because the caller ID said: “Unknown” (Blackest).
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