Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Re-Post: Dry Ice

This week, I went to the store to purchase dry ice to put in my new buckets of food storage flour (I've been told dry ice kills any bugs or anything that may be in flour - it may be an old wives' tale but I still do it), and on a lark I bought a couple of extra pieces. I told my 5 year old on the way home from the store that we were going to do something very fun with dry ice, and since he had never seen it at work before, his interest/excitement was piqued. I asked him what would happen when I put the dry ice in water, and he said, "I don't know." Trying to make this a teaching moment, I prodded and asked him to guess what he thought might happen. He said, "Will it change colors? Will it float? Will it melt?" What great hypotheses! So I put the first piece in cold water and both boys watched it with awe. Then I showed them how blowing on it makes the steam/fog move out of the way. While blowing on it, E said, "It smells like the humidifier water." So we talked about how it is releasing carbon dioxide, like when we breathe out, and what creates the bubbles in soda pop. Then when the first piece melted, I asked them what they thought would happen if we put the next piece in hot water instead of cold (it bubbles even more and makes more steam/fog). This was a fun opportunity to use the scientific method to teach my kids about the properties of dry ice.
Midweek Pick Me Up
I want to share a quote from the author Anna Quindlen.

“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. … I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less” (Loud and Clear [2004], 10–11).

Ok mothers of young children, how many times have you heard this advice? Ten, twenty, a hundred times. Me too. And yet, I still forget it many days. I'm too busy squeezing in another craft project just to check it off the list, rather than viewing it as a chance to bond. I'm snapping photos like mad to preserve the moment for me rather than imprinting it in my own memory. I'm longing for the silence that accompanies nap and school hours rather than delighting in the cheerful noise that tells me someone who loves me is by my side. It's so easy to yearn for the past or future, no wonder we need reminders to live in the moment. Try to get a little less done today, and enjoy the present. After all, the dishes can always be done tomorrow. :-)

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