Don't know about borax? Or slime activators? Count yourself lucky

Are We There Yet? Resisting the slime craze is futile, even if it means a sesame seed covered kitchen. Thank poohness for Christopher Robin

Christopher Robin (played by Ewan McGregor) with his longtime friend Winnie the Pooh in Disney’s live-action adventure ‘Christopher Robin’

Christopher Robin (played by Ewan McGregor) with his longtime friend Winnie the Pooh in Disney’s live-action adventure ‘Christopher Robin’

 

Standing in a pharmacy recently, I had one of those out of body moments. Whole seconds passed as I stared glassy eyed at the chemist, unable to extricate my bank card from my wallet. As I floated a couple of metres above myself and the anti-dandruff shampoo, some questions bubbled up. What was I doing here? How did I get here? And most importantly, why after months of refusing to engage with the unfathomable “slime craze” did I find myself standing in the chemist about to pay for something called saline solution?

It’s an “activator”. Contact lense solution is another activator you may or may not be interested to know. A substance that activates other substances, like say your favourite and most expensive body lotion, to create home-made slime.

They had worn me down over weeks. Behind my back, hundreds of slime videos were being watched. Assiduous notes were being taken. I’d enter a room and hear the words “borax” or the name Karina Garcia whispered in awed tones. (Borax is the highly prized and highly toxic activator and Garcia is an Internationally Successful Slime Queen. I am jealous of you if up until now you were unaware of those things).

There were other signs. Sometimes I’d walk into a room and there’d be a lingering smell of shaving foam. The spendy lotion began appearing on pieces of furniture, like the trail left behind by snails.

I bought the saline solution. In another shop, as per the strict instructions of my children, I forked out for a large bottle of PVA glue. We already have the shaving foam stockpiling at home. And enough food colouring to turn the Liffey green for a year. All of a sudden my resistance felt, if not quite futile, then foolish and mean. My daughters had a passion for slimy substances. Who was I to stand in their way?

“It’s arts and crafts I suppose, isn’t it?” said one unconvinced sounding, also slimephobic co-worker, as she shopped grimly online for slimedients.

It all came to a head, though. It’s only natural when you’ve got a gaggle of kids at your kitchen table combining glue with shaving foam and baking soda and - ah, here - a bottle of pricey vanilla extract.

I retired to my bedroom to work. I’ve read The Idle Parent from cover to cover. It’s my bible. Let them at it, I thought. My parting words were “remember to clean up as you go along”. This did not happen. I was alerted to this fact 20 minutes later by a crash and the sound of splintering glass. Somebody had decided they needed to add sesame seeds to the slime and now the shattered remains of a large mason jar and thousands of seeds lay lay decorating the kitchen tiles. The rest of the kitchen looked like - there’s no other description - an explosion in a slime factory.

Luckily, there wasn’t time to go quite as nuclear as I felt. We had to get cleaned up and go to the pictures. We had tickets for Christopher Robin. I wasn’t really in the mood for Winnie The Pooh but as soon as it began - “I’m a bear of very little brain” Pooh reminds us often - the rage melted away. It’s a gentle, sweet and sentimental film and most importantly it’s not about slime.

Christopher Robin only got a two star reviewin this newspaper. “Who, in the name of bejaysus, is this thing for?” pondered our critic Donald Clarke to which I can only answer: “Me, Donald, me!”

Me, and my nine-year-old daughters who giggled all the way through and loved it dearly. It’s true that Pooh is no Paddington Bear but he made us happy with his simple, honeycentric approach to life.

Even more importantly, workaholic Efficiency Manager grown-up Christopher Robin played by Ewan McGregor reminded me that I need to look up from my laptop/phone more often and wake up and smell the - urgh - slime. It made me remember that more often than not I am a parent of very little brain.

And that this state of affairs is perfectly fine.

Speaking of Winnie The Pooh and honey ...

... this weekend at the Dead Zoo aka the Natural History Museum it’s all about the insects that make the honey – bees. Copies of the Busy Bee Activity Sheet trail are available at reception and in the Irish room. Don’t forget your pencil.

Natural History Museum, runs until Friday, 31st August, 10am, 01 677 7444

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