Science in the bedroom

June 8, 2010

in Reed, Tessa

How’s that for a provocative title?

Kristin warned us not to trust too much quiet.

It was the first day of my children’s summer vacation, but just another work-at-home day for me.  I’d been solving registration problems uninterrupted for about 45 minutes. Glory be. And then…

“Mommy…!?” Tessa’s last syllable inflected upward in a controlled panic.

In one leap I got rid of the laptop and headed up the stairs. As I took them two at a time, Reed was saying, “It was an exPLOSion!”

Holy crap, I was thinking. How bad is this gonna be?

Tessa had wanted the room brighter so she removed a lampshade from a lamp. Then Reed wanted to see what happens when you put a Lego® on a light bulb.

Of course you know what happens when you put a Lego® on a light bulb: it melts. And then it smokes and then it frightens children.

A child who is frightened by both the situation and by the prospect of telling her mom what is happening will try to solve the problem herself. By pouring hand sanitizer on it.

Hence the fire. And the explosion.

The flash-fire was out by the time I got to the bedroom, in about 5 seconds. Shards of glass sparkled in a wide disaster zone.

Remarkably, neither child was hurt and nothing  was damaged (besides the shattered light bulb). I picked up the larger shards by hand and carefully vacuumed the rest. And had A Talk with the children about the properties of matter and what can happen when you add heat.

And how hot one’s bottom could get if they ever do such a thing again.

How many more days until school starts?

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

a June 8, 2010 at 8:09 am

More evidence for my campaign against hand sanitizer!

So glad no one was hurt, but wow! Nice creative geniuses you’ve got there. Experimentation is vital to gaining knowledge, you know. I’m guessing this summer’s theme will be fire safety…

Also, I don’t think we ever turned a light on in our house during the day when I was young. It was impressed upon us from an early age that turning on the lights made it hotter in the house, and air conditioning was a very valuable commodity at that time. Of course, our days were also largely taken up by sitting in front of a fan and complaining about how hot we were and couldn’t we put the air conditioning on? This is also why I think every family needs a pool – hours of activity during summer vacation.


Lavender Luz June 9, 2010 at 2:16 pm

You make a good argument for making nicey-nice with the local fire department.


Vanessa June 8, 2010 at 9:54 am

LOL OMG I’m so glad that no one was hurt!


Kir June 8, 2010 at 12:27 pm


I want to Lol..but won’t, because that post made me smirk and then get scared for them. Curious looks great on kiddos, but HOLY COW It does have some consequences doesn’t it. WHOA.

thank goodness they are ok.
and just for the record , you know enough about matter to explain it, how does a woman (like me for example) who doesn’t know anything about it deal with it. I think there will be some SCREAMING from me involved.

ok, now I’m laughing :)


Lavender Luz June 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I’m GLAD you’re laughing. I can now, too.

Sheesh. It’s a wonder anyone ever survives to adulthood.


Wendy June 8, 2010 at 12:47 pm

So glad they are okay! That must have been pretty scary!

I remember one of my sisters microwaving a Hostess cake in the microwave — in the FOIL. Yes, foil and microwaves do not mix well.

Thanks for the comment on my blog!


Lavender Luz June 9, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Yikes! Thanks for the heads up — yet another science experiment to look forward to!


Luv my 4 Rapscallions June 8, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Oh, the scientists… My youngest is one! He wanted to see what would happen if he threw a diaper, tied to a string, to a fan, and turned it on … The fan which is on the vaulted ceiling JUST out of reach of our tallest ladder .. Two days before we were hosting Thanksgiving dinner. All this at three years old. Makes a momma proud!!!


Lavender Luz June 9, 2010 at 2:22 pm

That’s a HILARIOUS story. And yet another reason why one of yours and one of mine should not be left too long to their own devices.


Luv my 4 Rapscallions June 9, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Together … They could rule the world!!! No, I mean it. They really could. …shudder….really scary nightmare material for this evening!

Amber's Crazy Bloggin' Canuck June 8, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Hand sanitizer is the natural solution.

I think I’ll use that during my next stove fire. :-)


Lavender Luz June 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm

All chemicals are interchangeable, don’tcha know. We can clean the windows with hair spray, scrub the tub with air freshener, and clean carpet stains with Pledge.

Aiy aiy aiy!


flying monkeys June 8, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Holy moley! I’m glad they were okay!


Nicole June 8, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Holy cow! I am very impressed with how smart (and resourceful) they are and so glad that they weren’t hurt. I suspect it is only a matter of very brief time before my own children melt and/or blow something up.


Lavender Luz June 9, 2010 at 2:43 pm

And where will you blog about it?


Geochick June 9, 2010 at 7:29 am

Somehow I’m totally NOT surprised by this story! heh heh. I’m glad they weren’t hurt by the exploding light bulb and hope that the rest of the summer doesn’t go this way. Otherwise, you’re gonna’ need a lot of light bulbs. ;-)


Lavender Luz June 9, 2010 at 2:45 pm

And maybe some new carpet, bedding, paint…


Denver Laura June 9, 2010 at 11:24 am

[mouth hanging down with hand covering] Oh my gosh! I am so glad nobody got hurt! When my brother was 5, he decided to read huimself a book during naptime. Apparently he wanted it to be brighter in the room. He took the shade off and then fell asleep. (He’s a heavy sleeper). He knocked over the lamp and it started burning a hole in the floor. He panicked when it caught fire, so he tried covering it with a blanket and hitting it with a pillow, which of course only fanned it. The fire burned a hole right through to the floorboards. He’s still embarassed 25 years later…


Lavender Luz June 9, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Oh, dear! I’m sure you NEVER bring it up, being a good sister.

Scary for your parents!


chicklet June 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Those kiddos are going to keep you VERRRRRY busy this summer…


Lavender Luz June 9, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Just. You. Wait, mother of D.


Jen June 9, 2010 at 3:34 pm

we have one lamp with a shape. in our room lol. That is so something my kids would do. I’m counting the days till school starts again as well


loribeth June 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Oh. My. Well, you SAID you needed something to write about…. ; O) be careful what you wish for!!

Early in my marriage, I actually made the mistake of dusting off the light bulb of a lamp that was on. With a damp cloth. Believe me, I have NEVER made that mistake again.


Lavender Luz June 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm

So true, Loribeth!

I wish I get the chance to meet you someday…

…withOUT any firefighters necessary.


Quiet Dreams June 9, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Wow. That would have scared the holy you-know-what out of me if I were one of them.

Heh. I bet that’s one they won’t be forgetting.


susy June 10, 2010 at 11:52 am

oh my!! so glad they’re ok! ahhhh, the innocence of youth, and not thinking ‘anything’ will hurt, but “just might work”. ;) definitely a story for the times – and when you need to pull out an embarrassing one out for future boyfriends/girlfriends. teehee.


mrs spock June 10, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Holy crap! Reminds me of the time, as a kid, my neighbor decided to put a bunch of M-80 firecrackers in the hollow of his tree one 4th of July. And caught the tree on fire. Which he tried to douse with beer. Apparently Budweiser can be highly flammable.


luna June 13, 2010 at 12:42 am

yikes, how scary! for everyone.

I do love that they were playing together again though.

glad no one was hurt.


battynurse June 14, 2010 at 12:29 am

Oh wow!
Talk about a frightening moment.
That they will hear about for years to come I’m sure.
So glad that neither of them were hurt and that there wasn’t much damage.


Sheri June 14, 2010 at 4:39 pm

I can just imagine this scene unfolding. Scary!

Luckily no one was hurt…and you can take comfort in the fact that they are curious and adventurous!

Silence can be golden…but only when kids have moved out of the house or are safe and asleep in bed.


Kami June 14, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Fun! This is the stuff I hope to experience with LB and LBII. What great little scientists!

I would, of course, prefer that we did it together instead of it being a surprise . . . safety and all that.


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