a peek inside the fishbowl

08 Mar, 2005

The mineral that almost ate our home

Posted by andrea in: Misc. life

I have two kids. The youngest is in FT daycare and the other is in a morning program three times a week and in afternoon kindergarten for the rest of it.

Emma and I walk home from school mid-afternoon. This gives us a few hours together before Mark and Sarah arrive home. Sometimes we tidy the house. Sometimes we play Trouble or Candyland – or one that I’m trying to push – Chutes and Ladders, so Emma can learn to count to 100 and make it to grade one. Or we do a puzzle together. Sometimes we colour or do something crafty. If the weather is ok we play outside.

I try to mix it up, but sometimes it’s tough. How do SAHM’s do this full time? And why, for goodness sake do we feel the need to entertain our kids anyway? I’d say that a third of the time Emma does her own thing while I tidy, tap out an email or prep for dinner. She listens to her records, plays with her toys or draws on the kitchen floor while I step over her on my way in and out of the fridge.

Anyway, yes. In the summer, Finding Things To Do becomes more of a challenge. The weather is better, that’s true, but the days are just. so. long. that sometimes it’s hard to fill the time. On the other hand, as they get older they are easier to shlep around town. There is no longer a need to be burdened by diaper bags, bags of Cheerios and other baby-related accoutrements.

Also, as they get older, they become more interested in things that would have been beyond their comprehension when they were a few shades younger.

Two summers ago, for example, I tried an experiment with corn starch. It was kinda cool, alas, sadly underappreciated.

I bought a great book at a book fair recently. It is full of science experiments that can be created out of things lying around the house.

Last weekend we took it upon ourselves to grow some salt crystals. We followed the instructions carefully (something like what is described here) but in our version we used a pencil and a nail hung on a string. We put the results on the windowsill. We observed the crystals as they formed. Ooooo! Ahhhhh! Teeny cubes! Within a few days it was starting to crawl up the string. Then it took over the pencil. It has since eaten the pencil (or at least that’s how it appears to Sarah, who has shed tears over the loss) and the other day Mark noticed that the crystals were coming out of the jar, down the sides and across the windowsill. (Photo here.)

Thank goodness he noticed. It would have swallowed our house. The thing is now almost entirely encrusted. Woot!

Anyway, who knows what the kidlets absorbed from this, if anything. We do these things for the entertainment value. Call me a geek… but these things are fun. And I hope that perhaps it opened a small window in their minds, and gave them more of a reason to be curious about the world around them.

Anyone ever try one of those home-made volcanos? :)

1 Response to "The mineral that almost ate our home"

1 | Ella

March 9th, 2005 at 2:27 pm


You are so adventurous with your activities! It is all I can do to muster pens and paper for mine – although they are at the age when drawing is pretty exciting! Nice blog.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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