Tag Archives: unsupervised children

Science in the bedroom

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?