When kids take up to kitchen science experiment, it starts off from who is Einstein to discussing DNA in the Jurassic park way, mothers have to go through all of it.
We have all been very sick in our home these last few weeks and I have not been the model of good parenting. It’s hard to yell and scream at your kids when you have a blocked nose, though I have proven that it’s possible if you really, really want to. Mind over matter guys. Of course, the fall out of all this mean-ness is that I have had to apologise and make up to them in ways that I would rather not. The boys are on a science trip of sorts and claims of wanting to be a scientist when they grow up are floating about. But I think MIT shouldn’t roll out the red carpet yet as kitchen science experiments from Pinterest revealed certain gaps in their scientific foundations.
Eight year old: “Amma who was Einstein?”
Me: “The greatest scientific mind of the...” 5-year-old interrupting “He created humans.” What? Where did this come from? Before I can correct it, the 8-year-old confidently rubbish his claims. Thank God! At least one of them is sma... “No. No. He didn’t create humans. MONKEYS created humans to look like them. That’s why Amma is so hairy.” Well, that’s the end of my feminist ‘no waxing moment’.
We are making a volcano with lego, baking soda and vinegar. “What gas do you think is causing the liquid to bubble up like that?” “Farts!”
We are watching a video on how to make slime with things you have in the kitchen. After the cool, gross slime demo comes the ‘sciencey’ bit. An avuncular scientist talks about non-Newtonian liquids and viscosity. We head to the kitchen and make our orange slime. As the boys are flinging it at each other in glee, I play kill joy and spring a pop quiz on them. “So, what kind of liquid did the scientist call this?”
“Gooey.” “No.” “Yucky?” “No.” “It doesn’t matter Amma, all that matters is that the slime and the poison we made last week have the same DNA.” I’m taking this as a win. DNA is science word.
Following up on the previous conversation I asked them what DNA was. “It’s the terrible things they put in the Indominus Rex in Jurassic World that makes it smart like a raptor, carnivorous like a T-Rex and invisible like a, like a… ghost!”
“Is poop recycled food?” “I guess that’s one way of looking at it. Yes.” “So, if we are starving in the desert we can eat our poop to survive?” “Well, I’m not sure…” “That would be gross.” interjects the oldest. A feeling of relief washes over me. “You can’t eat something that’s covered in sand. Yuck.” Well, at least they’re thinking of hygiene.
Unable to handle the science overload, I plonked them in front of the TV. You can’t learn anything from that right? Wrong. They are now working on slug shooting, hyper-speed travelling, invisibility serum which is made of toilet cleaner, body wash and Odomos. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
(The writer’s parenting philosophy is: if there’s no blood, don’t call me)