Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ravelled, Still

You know the kind of insomnia you get where you lie in bed and you're comfortable enough but you can't fall asleep because your mind starts going too fast and you plan what you're going to put in the loot bags for your  kid's next birthday party and try to figure out if you have all the ingredients for lasagna in the fridge for tomorrow night and go through the entire song list from Miss Saigon and finally you drift off?

That IS the kind of insomnia I'm having this week. Which is definitely better than that whole 'is someone sticking pins in a voodoo doll that looks like me right now?' deal I had going on last week, although there's still the problem of not, you know, sleeping at night.

Today Angus was home sick. I was still awake at four, so I cancelled my physio appointment and slept until nine-thirty. I got up and cried in the shower and worried that my son thought I was a useless waste of a human being who lazed around being a big lazy lazyhead while he was in school all day. Then I went down to the kitchen and he came up from the basement and immediately blurted out "I'm going to school tomorrow!", and I realized he was afraid that I was thinking he was a malingering malingerer who was faking sick (he wasn't; you can't fake that level of snot). At least that obviates the need for a DNA test.

So last Wednesday I went into Eve's class to volunteer for Scientists in the Schools, which they have every year. I've made playdough insects countless times, faked my way through Forces and made a dismal showing at Pulleys and Levers. This unit was called "Soil: It's too Important to be Treated Like Dirt (they're scientists, not copywriters).

Volunteering in Eve's class is a much different experience from volunteering in Angus's; the most Angus will condescend to do is flash me the odd pleased, goofy smile. Eve, on the other hand, goes into Extreme Show-off Mode. And on our way through the school on our way to the portable out back, Pam and I happened upon the recess yoga class, and I poked my daughter in the nose as she was trying to achieve an enlightened state - that's right; I gave her ammo before I even entered the classroom. Sometimes I'm just not that bright.

At my station, I had three little plant pots with perforated bottoms, suspended in glass jars. One contained sand, one contained loam, and one contained clay. The kids were supposed to form a hypothesis on which material would hold the most water before it dripped out the bottom, and then I dropped water from an eye-dropper into each pot while they counted. The kids were pretty good, even the jackass ones. My biggest concern was that I would somehow screw up the experiment and it would turn out that sand held more water than clay - that's right; I was afraid that the laws of physics would suddenly suspend themselves for the sole purpose of humiliating me. Not that bright.


Clay SoilSandy SoilLoam Soil
Clay and silt soils are made of very small particles. They feel slick and sticky when wet. Clay and silt hold moisture well, but resist water infiltration, especially when they are dry. Often puddles form on clay or silt soils, and they easily become compacted.
Loam soil is a mix of sand, silt or clay, and organic matter. Loam soils are loose and look rich. When squeezed in your fist, moist loam will form a ball which crumbles when poked with a finger. Loam soils normally absorb water and store moisture well. Loam soils can be sandy or clay based, and will vary in moisture absorbtion and retention accordingly.
Sandy soils contain large particles which are visible to the unaided eye, and are usually light in color. Sand feels coarse when wet or dry, and will not form a ball when squeezed in your fist. Sandy soils stay loose and allow moisture to penetrate easily, but do not retain it for long term use.


Eve's group developed the charming habit of drawing out the number they were saying for the entire time I was slooooowly dripping in the water: "Twooooooooo....... Threeeeeeeeeeee......... Foooooooouuuuuur......". So for the seventh dropper, I dripped the water in so slowly they were all turning blue with breathlessness. Then Eve reached over and squished the eye-dropper. Because she's a smartass like that.

My kid was also the first to shoot her hand in the air and volunteer that dirt was composed, partly of 'bug poop!' The scientist said "you're right, but you're a little bit ahead of me, sweetie."

Welcome to my world, scientist lady.

Going to try to sleep now. Because not sleeping is making me feel like dirt. The kind with lots of bug poop in it.

6 comments:

Denise Nielsen said...

Mwa-ha-ha. I only ever volunteer to read with the class. I feel competent doing that. I don't even like field trips. While other moms are shepherding children around with a cheerful bustle that wearies me, I'm just following along making sure no-one falls into the polar bear cage.

Hannah said...

I would also be afraid that the experiment somehow wouldn't work just that one time. Lingering trauma from one too many bad science fair projects, I think. :)

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

Eve Rocks and so do you! Hope you get some rest.

"being a big lazy lazyhead while he was in school all day", Ha! I have been accused of this ; )

Nicole said...

It's funny - whenever I would volunteer in Mark's class, he would be all cool and "hi Mom" but mostly would just do his thing and ignore me. Jake on the other hand, Jake. He would sit super close to me, and want to BE with me, and be so over-the-top excited that I was in!his!class!OMG! Now they are in the same class. It works well for volunteering because Mark is fine if I'm in Jake's group.

alison said...

I'm sorry you're not sleeping. I hate that when it happens to me. I still have my geology talk to do when Rae's class does the rocks and minerals. It's on the Grade 4 curriculum. At that age they usually aren't embarrassed to see you at school. Leah liked it when I did it for her class.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I tend to solve not-sleeping-at-night by the incredibly un-clever method of sleeping in the day instead. For some reason that comes easier. But it makes it MUCH harder to sleep the following night!