With One Part of THIS, and Four Parts of THAT, I’m Pretty Confident I Can Blow Up Your Kitchen!

Kellen’s mom had some work to get done today, so he showed up at our house at the very crack of Good Morning.

While I was folding laundry, the boy and Kellen hauled out the Legos.

While I was scrubbing toothpaste off of our bathroom sink, they hauled out the Playmobil people.

While I was vacuuming, they hauled sticks inside the house.

And while I was loading the dishwasher, I heard the boy tell Kellen, “And then…you know…when I have to pay you, I’ll pay you in dead bodies.”

As a mother, I stepped in on this one and said, “WHAT?!”

The boys’ reply was simple.  “Things don’t look good for these Playmobil guys!  They’ve walked into a big battle.”

Buzz and Woody would have had heart palpitations over that one. They would have sent in the green-plastic soldiers for a rescue mission, and Woody would have been pacing the floor and slapping his cowboy hat against his leg in a state of severe anxiety.  The poor Playmobil men gave the war their best shot, but, in the end, they were dropped from the back of the sofa, where they landed in a confinement center of some sort, which was constructed out of Lego bricks.

Somehow, if the boy had turned out to be an Amelia (which is the name Hubs and I had chosen for him, if he’d been a girl), I suspect that things would be quite different around here.

And by different, I doubt that an Amelia would ever have said, “And when I have to pay you, I’ll just pay you in dead bodies.”

She would have been too busy setting her dolls up around the table for a tea party to even THINK of that sentence.

Ultimately, God knows which kids are the very best for us, and the boy is certainly it.  I can’t imagine my life without sticks and rocks and Legos and elaborate battle setups all over our home.

When the war was over, the boys were in the kitchen, rummaging through cupboards.  I simply guessed that they were searching for food.  I told them to attack the oranges in the fruit basket and the yogurt in the refrigerator.  Imagine my surprise when the boy said, “Oh, we’re not hungry; I’m looking for matches.  We’re going to start a fire in a bowl.”

Sadly, I am the mother who let them fill a ceramic dish with rubbing alcohol and light it up.

I expect that the Department of Family Services will be here any minute to check my parenting credentials.

Or the complete lack of them.

Rest assured, this little FIRE IN THE BOWL trick is a scientific experiment straight out of the boy’s chemistry set.  He had been telling Kellen about how he and Hubs had done it before.  Naturally, Kellen was intrigued, because he  poses a Y chromosome, which shouts out, “Fire!  Fire!  FIIIIIIRRRRRE!!”

After this little experiment, the boy looked at me and asked, “So?  Could we get my chemistry set out?  Will you be the MANDATORY ADULT SUPERVISION that you demand I have with it?”

Everything that I remember from high school chemistry class can be represented by the following dot:


THAT tiny dot — that tiny dot which the computer keyboard likes to call a period — is how much working knowledge I still possess from chemistry class.

2 parts hydrogen.  1 part oxygen.

I DO remember that.

Usually the chemistry set is Hubs’ department.  Hubs paid attention in chemistry class, because of EXPLOSIVES.  And GAS-EMITTING REACTIONS.  And TOXIC CLOUDS.  Hubs did NOT pay attention in English class, because none of those things were ever found in English class.

I told the boys that I would be the MANDATORY ADULT SUPERVISION, and I informed them that INDEED!  They really WOULD be wearing the nerdy safety goggles, because I wasn’t dragging any one-eyed children into Sam’s office for a MEDICAL EYE EMERGENCY.

And then, for the next two hours, the boys poured over the experiment manual.

They asked me for vinegar.  And for compounds that no one could even pronounce.  They melted things.  They changed acidic levels in things.  They ignited things.  They created invisible ink.  They made things boil.  And low!  They had EDUCATIONAL FUN.

It was exactly like I was in the middle of a homeschooled science class, and, Dude!  I was holding my own.

(I was holding my own primarily because the boys kept saying, “Hey!  We want to do this on our own!”)

The boys were usually quite pleased and happy with their scientific results, too.

Sometimes their expressions showed that the results were simply NOT what they’d expected.

And sometimes they used a little Harry Potter magic to speed chemical reactions along.


“Hocus pocus!”

And sometimes they were just plain goofy.

(And why hasn’t someone wiped all the grungy fingerprints off of that refrigerator?  Where is the maid in this house?!  She’s about to get fired.)

For the record, both of the boys passed their homeschooled chemistry class.

I gave them both an A.

And then the boy had homeschooled PE, because I dropped him off at the golf course for his private lesson.

Yes, it was sprinkling rain.  Yes, the wind was blowing in hurricane bursts.  But his darling golf coach said, “I’ve played in weather a whole lot worse than this!  THIS is nothing!”

And the boy said, “Yeah, Mom!  She said this is nothing!  We’re going golfing!”

And off they went to tee off on the first hole, because neither sleet, nor hail, nor wind, nor tsunamis, nor ANY KIND OF UGLY WEATHER will delay the boy’s golf game.

And that, people, is how our Monday turned out.

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