August 12, 2009

August night

Skater Boy and Long Dark Hair sit on the floor in the kitchen area, dumping boxes of cornstarch into a stockpot of water. They are either making a ridiculous amount of gravy or doing some kind of informal scientific experiment. “We’re making a non-Newtonian fluid,” Skater Boy says when I ask. Shaggy Hair Boy shows me how I can punch the fluid hard – and it acts like a solid. Long Dark Hair takes off his shoe to stick his foot in the pot. “One of these days, we’re going to fill a whole wading pool,” Boy in Black says.

Quick and With-a-Why, sitting on the carpet near the couch, play chess and trade trivia about the show Scrubs. Shaggy Hair Boy and Philosophical Boy spread a bedsheet on the table and dump out poker chips. Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter and Boy in Black lounge on the couch with their laptop computers open. My daughter says she’s editing something and Boy in Black says he’s doing research, but mostly they are talking to each other. Boy in Black and Quick get into an intellectual debate about the merits of different brands of breakfast cereal. “If the word fruit is spelled with double O’s, I can’t eat it,” says Quick. Six laptop computers are strewn about the room and one of them is playing the Ghostbuster song, rather loudly.

In just a few weeks, my three oldest kids – and almost all of my extras – will be leaving for college or grad school. It’s going to be awfully quiet here.

9 comments:

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I love that you weren't furious that a kid stuck his foot in one of your cooking pots.

This time of year makes me sad, too, anticipating the change that always comes with September. My youngest starts kindergarten this September. Sigh.

jennifer said...

I am SURE your kids know this, but just in case- there are lots of videos of people with just that non-Newtonian fluid in huge pools on YouTube. (Just search for "oobleck"-- after the Dr. Seuss book "Bartholomew and the Oobleck"). They are hilarious and awesome, but the best one isn't in English. I show it in my physical science for elem ed teachers every year. Maybe your kids could make one and post it so I can have one with English commentary. I imagine it would be a web sensation.

Janice said...

It's funny -- as soon as you mentioned boxes of cornstarch, I said to myself "Non-Newtonian fluid!"

I had my kids enthralled the other day with Prince Rupert's Drops -- there's a fun video of this but definitely not the thing you want to try at home without safety gear galore:
via Boing-Boing

liz said...

I love how your house always seems to be draped with kids. I'm sure that even when most of the older extras are gone, new ones will come to fill the gaps.

Anonymous said...

I JUST taught oobleck in science class yesterday at camp!!! So cool!
:) Neighbor Lady

jodi said...

Oobleck is so much fun. I make it with my 4 and 5 year old preschool class. We put it on trays to try and contain the mess. (Notice the word "try".!!)

Rev Dr Mom said...

The Kid used to make oobleck in preschool and kindergarten but I never knew it was a "non-Newtonian fluid." Cool.

Yeah, not looking forward to the Kid leaving for college.

Songbird said...

Yeah.

bsouth said...

I recommend music played very loudly to take the edge off the silence and maybe finding some more extras.