Every once in a while, the kid gets out of bed and says "let's do science experiments"! What she means by this is "let's mix baking soda and vinegar and see what happens", like we don't already know, but hey! Science!
Sometimes we carefully stand up a pill vial of baking soda in a ziploc, pour some vinegar in the bottom of the bag, zip the bag shut, and dump the baking soda into the vinegar. Ta da! The bag blows up like a balloon. I keep hoping one will really explode, with a bang and a mess, but so far no dice.
One day, I set out three glasses - water, pickle juice, white vinegar. I made her taste all three; peculiarly she decreed the vinegar to taste sweet. (Then again, this is a child who likes salt and vinegar potato chips.) She took notes on taste, color, smell - recording her observations, because if you're going to do science experiments, you need to act like a scientist. Then she dumped a tablespoon of baking soda in each one and we watched how differently they reacted.
Sometimes, she wants to make a volcano, using an erlenmeyer flask - the flask shape pumps the foam up nicely (and doesn't everyone have an erlenmeyer flask in the kitchen cabinets? I used to have a 250ml beaker, too, but it got broken. It was an integral part of beer croquet, along with the kangaroo foot bottle opener and a bamboo tray, but I digress).
Today, as an homage to WhyMommy, a female rocket scientist, we - me and my girl - made a volcano, but I added an experimental fillip: three drops of dish detergent mixed into the white vinegar.
Whoa baby! We made the best volcano ever! The only thing that would have made that volcano better was if it had pointed to a cure for cancer. We'll have to keep experimenting.
In the meantime, and because WhyMommy suggested it in her post about preparing for the surgery that she's having today, because her cancer came back, I joined the Army of Women. I'll be notified when a researcher is looking for people like me - women who are willing to participate, in person or online, with and without cancer, so that scientists can study what causes, and what cures, cancer.
Join the army. Teach your kids to experiment. And fuck cancer.
Also, go check out all of the other Team WhyMommy Virtual Science Fair posts that Stimey instigated.