This post is a PSA.
Dear Nonni/Grammy/Momma/Grampa/Daddy/Special Friend:
Do NOT fall into the trap that has ensnared this reckless Nonni. Do NOT believe the crap that you read on line about the latest cool toys.
Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT fall prey to the late night TV spots with the glow in the dark cars and awesome flexible tracks.
Be strong, oh dear caregivers of young children. Be vigilant. Be wary. Be resolute.
Cuz I sure as hell wasn’t.
Let me share with you the sad and mournful tale of Nonni’s Kinetic Sand.
This stuff looks like magic when you view it online. Especially if you view it on a weekend when the kids aren’t here and the wine may or may not have been flowing.
Kinetic sand is “the original squeezable sand that you can’t put down!” It can be sparkly. It can glow in the dark. It is easy to use, easy to shape. It oozes. It flows through fingers. It keeps its shape. It leaves hands “completely dry!”
What a wonderful discovery! With this one purchase, Nonni could help the kids explore a variety of textures, shapes and movement! She could be an aging STEM expert!
Why NOT order a bag of this wonderful stuff?
So, of course, you are not at all surprised. Nonni ordered a big ol’ bag of said kinetic sand.
Oh, hahahahaha! Nonni, you gullible old fool!
Today found Nonni in the cranky presence of three toddlers. Two were dealing with colds and low grade fevers. One was wondering how in hell she ended up here with the cranksters.
Nothing was pleasing anyone.
So Nonni, bless her delusional old heart, decided to pull out the big plastic box of kinetic sand.
The three toddlers we delighted. They sat around the table, tiny toy animals in hand, little spoons at the ready. The sand was divided up among the three of them, into three matching trays.
This ain’t Nonni’s first rodeo.
Everyone got the exact same seashell. And the exact same tiny plastic asand molds.
The three of them were encouraged to share the water bottle.
All was well.
In fact, all was kind of dangerously, suspiciously quiet. I kept peeking in at them, but nothing obvious jumped out at me.
I sat down and paid my bills.
I was an idiot.
When I came back into the dining room, the kids were wrapping up their play. Good little ones that they are, they were putting the tiny pterodactyls into the box. They were hopping off of their chairs and heading into the bathroom.
“Good job!” Nonni called out cheerfully, thinking of how responsible the kids were being.
Off they toddled to the bathroom.
I went to clean up the sand.
And holy fuck.
How could one bag of kinetic sand get all over the table and every single chair like that? How could it have spread itself into each tiny crevasse in the coffee table?
Was that….was that KINETIC SAND spread on the wall?
I started to sweep, wipe and vacuum. But then the kids called for help. So into the bathroom I went, tucking my sandy dishcloth into my apron pocket.
“Nonni, my hands are kind of dirty,” said beloved child number one. “And I have something in my eye,” said beloved child number two. “Dubdadubda” said the baby.
And holy sacred sands of eternity. There was kinetic sand stuck to Ellie’s sleeves. I pulled her sweater off. This of course dislodged clumps of kinetic sand into her curly “do not dream of combing me” hair.
I turned to Ella, our calm and sweet model child. “There’s something in my eye.” she said with her usual serene demeanor. And I looked. Yep. Kinetic sand stuck in her eyelashes, clumped into her lower lids.
And kinetic sand in Johnny’s sleeves, and somehow or other in both ears.
I was horrified. I was aghast. I was awash in guilt.
Who was the idiot who actually bought this crap??????
Yep. That would be me.
I spent an hour combing hair, washing out eyeballs, sweeping sand off of legs, arms, feet, hands. I swept the floor, vacuumed the chairs and stairs, washed the toys the trays the cups and spoons.
I swept. I rinsed. I scrubbed.
And all the while, under my breath, I muttered this solemn incantation:
“Whoever invented kinetic sand should be buried alive in seventeen tons of it. With a plastic pterodactyl for company.”