Sunday, December 17, 2006


grandma and the uncles have given my boy a chemistry set for his birthday. i am not sure if this was an entirely good idea. i suspect it was uncle pete's idea. uncle pete is the astrophysicist and computer programmer uncle. he has a certain affinity with the way my boy's mind works as he is another beefburger person.

my boy tore open the wrapping paper with great glee and shrieked "oh brilliant - i can make a bomb!" the peeps spent a little time explaining that this would not be too clever on account of it being likely to destroy the house.

having read the instructions it appears that the chemistry set requires what is described as "parental supervision". i am not sure why the manufacturers of chemistry sets think that parents are likely to be able to supervise bomb-making any better than lurchers. having seen the destruction herself can bring to the kitchen making a chocolate cake i would not in a million years leave her in control of chemicals. himself is slightly more sensible. but he has a habit of wandering off to play computer games, leaving my boy with the test tubes and scary looking bottles of chemicals.

my boy started off being very sensible. i suspect that this was a deliberate ploy to lull the peeps into a false sense of security. my boy is crafty like that. he started out with litmus paper. this seems fairly innocuous. you dip it into liquid and it changes colour depending on whether the liquid is acid or alkaline. all well and good when the liquid is vinegar or washing up liquid. so herself went to sit on the sofa to watch tv.

almost immediately my boy came rushing in saying "this liquid has gone solid and the litmus paper has got stuck!" sure enough the test tube was fully of jelly. herself ascertained that this was calcium hydroxide which my boy had added water to. it turned out that he had not quite understood that the instruction given to him very firmly by both peeps that he was not to open any of the chemicals unless one of them was actually in the room. or more likely he had decided that they didn't really mean it. and that he knew best about the chemicals anyway...

it does bring to mind the occasion when he decided to practice striking matches. he went outside to do this, being conscious of the house being entirely made of wood and therefore rather flammable. however, herself found him squatted down about a foot from the house, dropping the matches into a pile of leaves when the flames reached his fingers. there was a certain amount of heavy manners about that.

i am keeping well out of the way. things can only go downhill. herself is going to make him a birthday cake this afternoon. my boy has an aversion to people singing happy birthday so herself has made some cards for their friends to wave to do 'happy birthday' silently. the cards say 'happy', 'birthday', 'to', 'you', 'dear' and 'owen'. the plan is that mrs captain will conduct and the other peeps will raise their cards at the appropriate moment. i do not seem to have been allocated a card so i will wag my tail instead.

the cake-making will almost certainly be traumatic. herself is planning to make a cake shaped like a gun. each year she makes one in the shape of my boy's current obsession. so he has had them shaped like strip lights, light bulbs and daf lorries, to name but a few. she has not managed to buy new blades for the whisk so i dread to think what she will use to mix it all up. i think it might be an idea to hide the electric drill...

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