family · slice of life

The Experiment Monster #SOL21

NOTE TO READERS: My father reads this blog every day. He may or may not appreciate that I’m using this forum to write him an open letter. Perhaps he’ll leave a comment so you can find out.

Dear Dad:

You created a monster. You created him during last week’s visit. You gave him vocabulary words like experiment, farenheit, and freezing point. You gave him tools like measuring cups and digital thermometers. You taught him so much when you conducted experiments together. It was a joy to watch you teaching him.

BUT — you didn’t teach him how to use a finite amount of resources nor did you teach him how to clean up. Therefore, this is what greeted me when I came downstairs to make breakfast this morning:

No, Marc didn’t leave dishes in the sink when he left for work. He cleaned everything. I know this because he asked me to run the dishwasher after I ate breakfast, which meant everything was tidy and the dishwasher was full.

The detritus (pictured above) was the aftermath of Ari who decided to conduct some water experiments once he went downstairs this morning.

Maybe you’ll blame me. It’s clear that I was not present. Well, I was upstairs working with Isabelle, helping her with her morning work, which she did earlier than usual. Ari asked, “May I do one experiment?” I said yes. However, I didn’t think it would lead to this many items being utilized.

I know it’s not that big of a deal. (But it happened in March so it’s open to scrutiny due to the Slice of Life Story Challenge.) Everything can be washed. But I have no desire to wash extra dishes in the mornings!

So, my dear, wonderful, and awesome father, I thank you for teaching my son how to run experiments. I love that he’s interested in determining the temperature of water, figuring out when it freezes, etc. However, I am going to make a request. During your next visit, please teach your grandson to clean up after he conducts experiments. (Likewise, I encourage you to teach him to limit the supplies he uses.)

Thank you.



Head over to Two Writing Teachers for more slice of life stories.

29 thoughts on “The Experiment Monster #SOL21

  1. What a fun way for your dad and son to spend time. I have taught two brothers whose grandpa is a retired science teacher. They do so much fun experimenting at home!

    1. In reality, it was awesome to watch them together. I think I’m just overwhelmed by the sheer amount of cup-shaped ice blocks and used cups I’ve been contending with for the past week.

  2. Love this format. That’s totally what Grandpas are for! (I, too, would give some constructive feedback in your shoes. I hate dishes piling up!)

    1. I am grateful he’s so hands-on with Ari. He came with plans to do lots of things together last week.
      That said, Isabelle will tell you that finding dishes in the sink — first thing in the morning — always makes me grouchy.

  3. Both skills- growing curiosity AND responsibility- are so valuable, but sometimes kids (& grownups) can only practice and master one at a time! I like your plea to tackle the other half! Enjoy and good luck!

  4. I’m all in on the experiment thing & if the mess is confined to the sink… well, in my house I would have called that a win. I’m tempted to share several photographs of Eric & his experiments when he was this age, but I’m afraid you might have a heart attack or, worse, hurt your ankle again as you ran away from the computer. Still, curiosity and independence are good things, right? And surely tidiness and responsibility will follow? (Fingers crossed!)

  5. Ah…fueling the scientific part of Ari’s existence is certainly your father’s lot in life. So glad it happened in March and you noticed the potential was for more than a few more dishes!

  6. As much as you lament the mess and the extra dish-washing, I know you secretly love that your dad got your son so interested in inquiry and in science. You love learning…you can’t fool me! 🙂

  7. Hmm, you may not be getting the support you might have imagined here… I say you gather the materials and put them in a “safe place” so they can wash them together?

    1. I cook and my husband does the dishes. Ari has been doing them with him some nights, but he “makes soup” in a pot in the sink. I’ll have to have Marc do more dish-washing tutorials with Ari!

  8. There’s so much about this that I appreciate so I will leave you with this: LETTERS are an incredible way to get personal and lay your heart on the page. I LOVE letters as a craft form.
    THANK YOU for today’s post. Your dad is awesome. Grandfathers are too. Just imagined this whole scenario and it tugged on my heartstrings.

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