My kids asked me this summer if they could use cornstarch to make slime. “To make slime?” I asked. All I could think of was the green snot-looking stuff they used to dump all over people on Nickelodeon, back in the dark ages of the ’90s when I was a teenager.
As every mother knows, statements like this need further questioning. I had no clue how to make slime or whatever the hell it was, and after they told me you “just mix corn starch with water — how do you not know that?” I thought it sounded pretty harmless, so I told them to go crazy as long as they kept their mess in the kitchen. I had no idea what was in store for me.
And holy shit, what a concept. This is not the slime of yesteryear; it is pretty and squeezable. They had so much fun with just a few household ingredients (ingredients I now purchase daily) and played with that damn slime for two days straight. I didn’t even mind the hard cement-like pieces that stuck to the kitchen sink. The corn starch footprints all over our wood floors were kind of cute too. My kids were happy and not complaining that they were bored — marvelous.
My usually fidgety, antsy 9-year-old was still and calm as he sat pulling and poking his slime. We have tried a few things like gum and stress balls for long car trips or while waiting for a table at a restaurant, and they never soothed him the way this slime did.
The following week my daughter asked me if we could go to the store because she needed Borax and glue. Again, I was game, but wanted to know what she was going to do with it.
Make slime, of course. Silly me. (FYI, clear glue works best, and you can buy it by the gallon).
As we were loading up on slime supplies in Target, she asked if she could pick up food coloring and glitter to make “fancy” slime. She then ripped out her phone and showed me a video: a video of a woman poking slime. Yes, you read that right: just poking slime. There are viral videos all over Instagram and YouTube of people making, pulling, folding, and doing other things to slime, and people are losing their damn minds. Apparently I am one of them.
Don’t judge me until you see it. I was mesmerized. It was a beautiful shade of pink, and I fell into a trance-like state watching her poke and prod this slime. She was turning it over her fingers, she was rubbing it, it looked like frosting or gelato, but it wasn’t messy. It makes these cool bubble-popping sounds too. I wanted to bite it. I was enjoying this. I was confused.
Someone dropped a pan in aisle three (thank god) and the slime-poking spell was broken. I wondered what the hell just happened to me. Apparently the same thing that had been keeping my kids quiet all summer. Making slime, playing with slime, or watching slime being poked, rubbed, or pulled is hypnotic for some reason. Is this really something that excites me now? I kind of wanted to get into slime-making myself even though I am not clear if I find it annoying, or I am in love with it.
I have to admit the glitter and food coloring that stained my butcher block island was kind of annoying, I mean, my kitchen now looks like an arts and craft table that has been used by 5-year-olds for over a decade, and all of our money is tied up in glue and cornstarch, but other than that I am am on board with this new craze. I will gladly take kids that are calmer, working together constructively, and laughing as they squeeze slime all day, over watching them try to squeeze each other’s heads off and tell each other how gross and stupid they are while they whine for me to take them to McDonald’s again.
And truth be told, sometimes when I am alone and sad or stressed, I take one of the 1,000 blobs of slime we now have in our house (they are in our junk drawer, the freezer, the pantry, in all the damn Tupperware, probably behind the toilet too), and I give it a squeeze and it makes me deliciously happy.
Here is a recipe for slime if you are so inclined. I dare you not to give it a poke or a pull. Add some glitter, if you’re feeling fancy. Whatever floats your boat.
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