Connie blogs regularly at Smockity Frocks. She is the mom of seven rowdy children, wife of one hunky golf pro, maker of aprons, wiper of noses, writer of stories.
Have you ever had a bad experience with a child’s play thing that was so frightening, so traumatic, that it scarred you for life to the point of having Post Traumatic Toy Disorder whenever you unexpectedly encountered said toy?
No? Well, count yourself blessed, Friends, because you may be just one unfortunate encounter away from this happening to you! [Cue creepy organ music.]
In the days of yore, when we only had two small children, my husband would load his golf clubs into our van and we would pack up our suitcases and travel around with him to one golf tournament after another for weeks at a time.
I was in the habit of packing little bags of toys and trinkets to keep the kids occupied in the van on the long stretches between tournament towns. I included small trinkets like a mini Etch-a-Sketch, crayons, tiny note pads, little books, Sillly Putty, and small stuffed animals.
One particular tournament that will forever be seared into my memory was in the Atlanta area. It turned out that one of the children was upset that the Silly Putty was missing from the activity bag.
“Don’t worry,” I comforted her as I gave a quick glance around the van, “It will turn up.” [This would be called "foreshadowing" in an actual literary work.]
Oh yeah, it turned up all right.
We had found a little country church just outside of Atlanta where we could attend worship services that sunny Sunday morning. During one of the “stand and sing” portions of the service, I noticed that some teenagers sitting in the pew directly behind me were giggling hysterically, which I found odd since I didn’t see anything funny about “This Is My Father’s World”.
At one point, I looked back to see what was so funny and I saw their eyes dart up from a southerly direction.
Self consciously, I rubbed the back of my dress, and to my horror, I felt the missing flesh colored Silly Putty clinging stubbornly to the back of my navy dress like a barnacle on a tug boat.
I inconspicuously contorted myself like a Chinese acrobat to wrest that rubbery blob from my back side, all the while trying to act like I wasn’t about to die of embarrassment thinking of all the people who had just seen me with a glob of gummy goop on my hind end.
I quickly dislodged the offending wad and tried to act as if nothing had ever happened. I continued singing, all the while wondering how many people had noticed it and WHY one of them didn’t stop me to say, “Ma’am, you have a glob of goop on your… uh… dress.”
Of course, the kids were thrilled to have their Silly Putty back, but I was already making secret, sinister plans to dispose of it and forever banish it and all its kin from my presence.
To this day, whenever I pass Silly Putty in the toy aisle, a cold shiver goes down my… uh… dress and I must hurry away from that horrid reminder of the time Silly Putty attacked.
Aprons and abc’s, baking and bandaids,
laundry and long division…
All to the glory of God