I blame mom guilt. My husband and I recently spent a week away from our children in glorious California wine country, and we knew we couldn't return empty handed. Buying for our daughter was easy — the girl's never seen a gift she didn't love — but my picky son had one, and only one, request for his homecoming present: fart putty, one of the most obnoxious kid items I've encountered to date, which basically takes slime and trumps it by adding an ability to make fart noises. Cute, right?
Because of the aforementioned guilt, combined with a week away's ability to make a parent forget what it's like living with children in general, we ordered a five-pack of the stuff on Amazon, scheduled to arrive at our house shortly after we did. A week away from our kids also meant that we actually missed the little devils and were excited for the sweet reunion we were sure would involve lots of kisses, hugs, and declarations of love.
Fart putty basically takes slime and trumps it by adding an ability to make fart noises. Cute, right?
All of that lasted about 15 seconds before our son asked where his fart putty was. "It's coming today, honey," I said, thrilled that I had remembered to remind my husband to Amazon Prime the order after five days of wine tasting and pretending we were not the kind of people (i.e. parents) who go to bed at 9 p.m. and wake up with our kids at 6 a.m. If I was a smarter woman, I would have told him it was sold out everywhere in the known universe and dealt with the consequences while he was still excited by our mere presence.
The package arrived a couple of hours later, and he dug in immediately, spending hours making his putty, which has a distinct though indecipherable smell that's now permeating my home: "fart." He wrapped the gooey substance around toys, his bare limbs, and even its own packaging, all safely in our kitchen, which is where I told him the putty should live, having previously dealt with the hell that is attempting (and often failing) to get slime out of upholstery, clothing, and rugs.
That lasted about an hour. While I was folding the six loads of laundry I'd brought home from our trip, I realized my son wasn't at the counter where I left him, and more importantly, neither was his pink putty. A quick search found him in the family room, where he'd left a trail of his new plaything across the rug, on top of the coffee table, down the sleeve of his waffle-weave tee, and on two couch cushions. And that's when I remembered just how much I truly loathe this stuff.
After a quick Google search, I discovered that the best way to remove fart putty is to douse it in vinegar, which dissolves it and obviously makes whatever item you're removing the slime from smell like vinegar (duh), meaning it still requires a solid washing. And that's what I've been doing for the last week. Reminding my son to keep the fart putty on hard surfaces, yelling at him when he doesn't listen and gets it somewhere that requires serious work to remove it, threatening to throw it away, listening to him cry and beg to keep it, giving in, and starting the whole process over again.
Why, oh why, toy manufacturers, must you keep coming up with products obviously designed to torture parents while delighting our offspring? And why can't these products be made of easy-to-remove organic materials that don't leave lingering smells and hardened deposits all over our homes? Is it really that much to ask? And yes, WHY DO I CONTINUE TO BUY THIS STUFF?!
I've learned my lesson. I don't care how long our next adults-only getaway is. No fart putty will be coming home with us. And this batch? Let's just say I'm storing it extremely close to the garbage can, and if it accidentally falls in? Well, that's just fine with me.