Sometimes as a parent I do bizarre and disgusting things. I have knelt in front of a child with my hands cupped to catch vomit (my hands aren’t big enough but I always forget this in the heat of the moment and kneel as if I’m going to receive some fantastic honour), I have watched my kids eat paint (non-toxic), been weed on and today I made a bath full of green grainy slime and shuddered miserably while the kids slapped it around the bathroom and my arms.
It is Ben’s sixth birthday and being a superbly well organised mother I worked late last night and swung by Toys R Us to get the gifts I’d selected months ago but not found time to stop and buy until the last minute. It’s this kind of organisational ability that explains why my friends and I weren’t asked to help with the year 1 school trip. Feeling the usual working mummy guilt I saw a gaudily coloured Gelli Baff pack on sale for a fiver and decided that I’d chuck it the trolley and give the boys a really special birthday bath time. Hmm…
Ben’s birthday went well. He loved the presents he was given, was treated to toast and marmalade followed by a nectarine for breakfast (I am the kind of Mum who insists he has to eat two weetabix or a bowl of porridge at breakfast club before being allowed a bowl of jam filled shredded wheats or Cheerios). His year was going on a trip to the local safari park which was very exciting for a future zoo-keeper and I gave him a box of fruit pulp sweeties to give out at the end of the school day. To make the day even better he visited his Nanny to see his Aunty and Uncle (down from York) and was then allowed to play a sky lander game on the wii before a tea of his choice.
How could this day get any better for a 6 year old?
Enter Gelli Baff – swamp green.
Being a big believer in not needing instructions I ran a bath, dumped the kids in it and tried to tip green dust in. Now, I’m standing in a bathroom with nail scissors in the cupboard so naturally I tore the plastic bag spilling gritty green stuff over me and the edge of the bath. I dumped the rest in and stirred. Green gravel moved around the bath and the kids looked at me expectantly. A sensible woman would look at the instructions, wait a few minutes for it to set or grab her iPad and google Gelli bath, instead I added a little more water to churn things up and dumped a second sachet in the water. Suddenly the kids were in a very stiff green goo and the tiny ‘gravel’ had swollen to frogspawn size and texture.
While the kids wriggled and drowned their ducks I surveyed the bathroom. A green goo covered the edge of the bath and had pushed its way into the crack where the bath panel was held by the top of the bath. Nice.
Boys splash a lot in baths, soapy gooey green stuff getting into your mouth isn’t nice and after wiping goo off Ciaran’s face with one towel it was contaminated with the goo and not suitable for wiping his tongue with. Instead he wiped his tongue on my sleeve, several times throughout the bath. I kept hinting about putting the magic ‘turn it to water’ powder in and getting shouted down. The goo retained heat much better than a normal bath. I knelt by the bath and tried the goo, I managed to squidge it into something like a slushy snow ball and threw it at Ben, this led to my arms being fair go. Yucky stuff the temperature and consistency of child vomit kept being poured over my arm.
I called time and dumped both dissolving sachet in the bath, added more water and drained it out without any major dramas. I then had to hose down the frogspawn covered kids and while they dried off I started hosing down the bath, tiles, gap where the panel meets the bath, sink where I’d tried to wash goo off of my hands and rest of the bathroom. If you have normal active kids this stuff really travels.
It was gross, required a post bath shower and decent scrub of the bath but as it met my objectives of:
A. Not turning Ciaran into an immediately itching mess;
B. Being a fun treat
I probably will allow it back in the house for special occasions, but only after the horror of it being put on me is a distant memory.