When dadcraft Doesn’t Go As Planned

  by Erik Wolgemuth

I read a headline recently about a glue shortage. Like a full-on, clean-out-the-shelves run for glue. Regular, run of the mill, Elmer’s glue. Normal people, searching desperately for normal glue.

This headline introduced me to the glue slime craze. (And, as crazes inevitably go, this one may well be over by the time this post makes it way to the dadcraft site.) The basic premise of glue slime is this: combine normal Elmer’s glue, a little water, and borax (no relation to anthrax), which I discovered is commonly found in your local grocery store in the detergent aisle.Then, all you need to do is mix these ingredients together and you’re left with a mind-blowing slimy substance (think, classic Nickelodeon Gak) that will entertain you and your kids for hours at a minimum.

Simple enough, I thought. Prepare yourselves, kids. Dad’s about to unearth some dadcraft gold before your adoring eyes.

Only, I didn’t.

Batch #1 was borax rich. By about 1000%. And so we discovered that a semi-congealed, gritty ball of some type of laundry detergent additive is fun-for-nothing. Batch #2 and #3 were great, if you enjoy playing with a weird, thick, non-malleable blob of glue. A blob that won’t shape into anything. Doesn’t slime. And breaks apart into a million pieces that you’ll end up racing to pick up off the floor before the dog can eat them.

And then we ran out of glue.

Needless to say, my dadcraft doesn’t often go as planned. Sometimes that actually ends up for the best, and sometimes the thing I’ve pumped my kids up for looks like and is about as awesome as an oyster that’s been rolled in the sand.

I’d like to say that my glue slime failures didn’t frustrate me. That when my ideas for some quality dadcraft don’t turn out as planned I handle it like a well-seasoned adult. Sometimes I do and, well, sometimes I need a five-year-old to help me get a little perspective. She simply let me know it was okay that our endeavor didn’t turn out as planned and then proceeded to (somehow) find some enjoyment in our glue blob.

In my better moments of dadcraft-gone-south, we laugh. And when my response looks like frustration of the glue-slime variety, I apologize.

And then we laugh. (And if you get a successful glue slime recipe, I could sure use it…)

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Often it’s attempts to “raise the bar” that lead to the most memorable dadcraft foibles. Other times dadcraft misses are simply a reminder that this gig is tough. Sometimes dadcraft foibles require apologies, but you’re still irreplaceable in your family.