Gratitude and Lab Coats and Miniature Explosions


It dawned on me recently that I have really been slacking off when it comes to Science Night. We’ve watched a few YouTube videos of the science of flight, or time lapse photography of plants growing. We’ve done little things. But, where’s the adventure? Where are the explosions and loud noises?

Clearly, these boys are old enough to start doing some serious experiments. All of a sudden, right after dinner, they heard a scream from the laundry room. I came back in to the kitchen wide-eyed, with a wild thought. Ben mimicked me by saying, “Suddenly, Mom had an idea!”

It had just occurred to me that my lifelong dream of wearing a lab coat could potentially come true right here around our dining room table. I could just buy my own lab coat. We could each have lab coats to wear for Science Night. Quickly, we found a website that sells not only lab coats, but mechanics shirts for the boys to wear out in the shop. Super Score! They want blue lab coats, because that is what the people who work at ScienceWorks wear. I’m a purist. I simply want a crisp white lab coat, and possibly a pocket pen protector. Oh!

Scott said on nights that we are completely nerding out, he will go out to have time alone with his Harley. How did such a cool guy end up with such a silly wife?

So – with that settled. We donned our safety glasses and our surgical gloves in preparation for our first official Science Experiment.


It was over in a flash. The foaming up of the vinegar with the baking soda. But it was the build-up to it that made it all so much fun. We did it three times trying to get a photograph of the foam coming out of the top of the funnel volcano-style, but it happened so fast, we kept missing it. What I will never forget is my kids jumping up and down with glee over the chemical reaction overflowing out of the cup and spilling all over the table. Clapping, jumping, bouncing and laughing. That is a reaction I will work hard to duplicate every single Thursday Night for as long as I can keep their attention.

Then it was time for bed. Good-going mom. How on earth to settle them after being so bouncy happy? I remembered that we have been working hard to redirect some negative attitudes that seem to come out of nowhere, and doing a daily Gratitude List was something we had talked about. Tonight was definitely the night to start incorporating that into the bedtime routine.

It worked like a charm to soothe and calm them and quiet them enough to settle into a good night. It was really fun to share our five items with one another. Each of us included being grateful for Dumplings since Scott had made us Chicken and Dumplings for dinner. Each of the boys were grateful for mini-bikes and I am grateful beyond words for boys who share my love of learning, and who will go along with me even when I nerd out completely.


3 thoughts on “Gratitude and Lab Coats and Miniature Explosions

  1. Oh wow….I so want to take part in science night! You make learning seem so much fun, my science teachers were so dull….it was only when I did my MSc degree that science was suddenly so much fun! *Sigh* I miss my lab coat.

  2. Maybe when they’re a bit older, or if they’re looking for a way to apply this science, you can tell them to mix baking soda and salt, pour a half cup or so down a sink drain, and then follow with a good slug of vinegar.

    (I actually soften the drain up first by boiling a kettle of water and pouring it down, but you can skip that if you think the kids will actually clean a drain.)

  3. You rock! Love the fun way you incorporate learning! A lab coat and all! Those eager faces in the picture say it all! Love the way you ended your day. Such a positive thing to do. I can see that you are such a positive influence on them just by the way you show kindness to others on their blogs. Today we are having a blizzard! i stayed from work and am going to spend the day stamping and painting! Can’t remember having a day off like this in ages!! Enjoy the weekend!

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