Saturday, April 18, 2009
Wild Blue Raspberry Explosion
Every parent specializes in some sort of activities with their children. Some share the playing of musical instruments, the love of gardening, the joys of cooking, the action of sports, the pleasures of the arts, or any number of other events that strengthen the bonds of parent and child.
My wife has always enjoyed the quiet and controlled pleasures of simple crafts with both our son when he was younger and now our daughter. Untold numbers of Popsicle stick picture frames or birdhouses have been glued together in our house as well as homemade scrapbooks and jewelry, and my favorite, butterfly garden kits that have you raising caterpillars to fully grown butterflies’. The activities I have pursued with my children have always been less structured. Simply put I am an explorer with an ingrained need to be away from the confines of home. I never get tired strolling down the zoo pathways and looking at the historical exhibits in museums. Much to my surprise my daughter, who is six years old, continues to enjoy our frequent visits as much as I do. When my son was the same age I had to bride him with some form of expensive treat.
The explorations of my daughter and I are not restricted to just the zoo and museum. She and I escape from home as quickly as possible whenever chores have been completed to my wife’s satisfaction. Only the restrictions of time and money would limit our desire to “boldly go”. Unfortunately, not every weekend allows us to leave the house and it is then that I have to move into activities that do not necessarily play to my strengths.
Most attempts for me to edge into my wife’s territory have resulted in a less than satisfactory outcome. Today was one of those days in which I had to spend more time on the cleanup than the actual craft which curiously enough were suppose to be idiot proof.
I had to go into work this morning leaving Dragonwife and Miss Wiggles alone. Darth Spoilboy was thankfully spending the night over at a friend’s house. I write thankfully because I have already had my fill of boy sleepovers which have evolved to the point that sleep is not only optional but I believe discouraged. My son usually volunteers his house resulting in a trashed family room, loud music until very late, and occasionally being forcibly pressed into a Taco Bell run or having to pay for a pizza that someone other than me mysteriously ordered. Therefore, it was nice that some other parent had to deal with their antics.
When I returned home several chores were yet to be completed and Dragonwife had developed a seriously bad sinus headache leaving her stranded on the couch. However, Miss Wiggles felt no need to allow us some leeway and needed something to keep her occupied while I wiped down the inside of the oven and put away dishes.
The craft I chose should have been several levels of parent idiot proof. All that was involved was a packet of powdered Wild Blue Raspberry gummi worm mix, a squeeze bottle, and some insect molds for her to squeeze the mix into resulting in the chewy treats after thirty minutes. Following the directions I poured the powdered mix into the squeeze bottle along with adding the required amount of water. After mixing the stuff I left it to my daughter who was eager to take the squeeze bottle and fill up the candy mold. I went back to work on the oven which needed to me wiped clean.
Immediately I started hearing my daughter complain about the gummi mix not coming out despite the effort she was using to squeeze it from the bottle. Like a good dad I inspected the situation and figured that maybe I had not added enough water. A little more water and more mixing later I went back to the oven.
As with other disastrous events just as I got back over to the oven everything went into slow motion. My daughter gripped the bottle and started squeezing before she turned it over. The bottle was not a very strong or well constructed item and the pressure my daughter applied was just enough to cause the much thinner mix to first explode out of the tip like a blue geyser shooting high up into the air and falling back like rain. Then the top of the squeeze bottle exploded off sending blue tendrils of both watery candy mix and a more solid sticky fluid all over the kitchen table, chairs, walls, and even windows of the room. Needless to say my daughter was drenched with the stuff as well.
As to be expected other issues complicated the disaster. I did not recognize my wife had laid out her expensive table cloth on the table earlier along with the brand new place mats. The kitchen floor had just been mopped a few hours before I got home. Lastly as I rushed to the scene my concerns were that the sticky candy mix might not cleanly wipe off the walls forcing me to repaint. Trust me, been there after Spoilboy went and got all Van Gogh with a similar substance in his room when he was about four or five.
Clean up began right away and as expected took on the looks of a HAZMAT exercise. Wiggles was draped in several beach towels and dropped into the bathtub. A tub of warm soapy water, a few rags, and elbow grease allowed me to wipe down and clean up the sugary fallout before it harden. The floor was partially cleaned by the Great Dog Sparky who enjoyed licking up the wild raspberry mix. I’m not too concerned about Sparky having a digestive issue over that particular mix since a few weeks before I caught Wiggles sharing a far more successful candy making session with the dog. The only after affects appear to be my blue stained fingers and a dog whose tongue freaked my wife out after she most of the clean up was done.
All things considered I figure I’ll just plop my daughter back in front of the television to watch SpongeBob next time I’m caught up in house cleaning chores. I could try some other craft like a Popsicle picture frame or birdhouse but that would require glue and that is a whole other scary story since it got out of hand for me once and I do not want to repeat it.