Bubbles are the greatest thing to ever happen to a 2-year-old… As long as she can do it herself, which she can’t. And because she can’t, bubbles are the most evil invention known to man.
When a child sees bubbles, even if she’s seen them ten thousand times, all other things in life lose their meaning. Slides and swings are abandoned. Temper tantrums are forgotten. Fruit snacks are cast aside like boiled brussel sprouts. Bubbles are fun. Bubbles are magical. Bubbles are a huge pain in my ass.
When your kid starts showing interest in bubbles, you naively go buy a simple, small bottle with a traditional bubble wand. You picture yourself blowing bubbles while your little one runs and giggles with pure, sugary delight. But the reality is that as soon as you open that bottle and pull the wand out, your toddler will shout, “I wanna do iiiiiiiittt!!!!” She’ll grab for the wand, pouring half the bottle of bubble liquid in your lap. Congratulations. Your pants are wet and soapy and your kid has quickly elevated from Level 1: Calm to Level 2: Agitation. You think, “Ok, I’ll let her try. She blew out her birthday candle. She can do this.”
You hand her the wand, and she immediately sticks it in her mouth. Now she’s spitting, wiping her tongue, and crying, all at a Level 3: Distress. You try several times to show her how to do it, but she either can’t blow hard enough or insists on holding the wand at forehead level. Either way, not a single bubble is produced. She’s approaching Level 4: Hissy Fit and you’ve had enough. So you take a risk and tell her, “Let mommy blow some bubbles and you can pop them!” This suggestion sends her into full-on, red alert Level 5: Seething Tantrum, and as she flails on the floor, kicking your shins, the remaining bubble liquid seeps stickily into the space between your toes.
After you’ve recovered from this incident, you get the brilliant idea that what you need is a battery powered bubble blower. You start with something small and hand-held but it only works for five minutes before crapping out. Those first five minutes are glorious and gratifying. But they aren’t worth the disappointment and tears you’ll have to quell. For anyone who hasn’t been through this yet, I will save you from the long, arduous discovery process: there is not a single battery powered bubble blower in existence that will actually function properly for any significant period of time. If there was, every single parent would own one. They’d be handed out at the hospital as part of your take-home kit along with diapers, wipes, and your trial pack of formula.
I recently reached a point where I was completely ready to give up on bubbles. And then I found the Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Bella Butterfly Bubble Blower. (Christ, that’s a long name.) It has a mouth piece on it so there can be no mistake about where to blow. (That’s what she said.) And BISCUIT CAN DO IT!!! Halle-fucking-lujah, she can do it!
As it turns out, the damn thing is also a pathetic attempt at a musical instrument. It makes a horrific whistling sound that is just one octave below a dog whistle.
But at least she’s happy.