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The Rock Candy Experiment

Lainey takes after her scientist mother.

My daughter Lainey is 5 years old, and I love her. If there is anything that involves slime or sugar—she’s on it.

When the grandparents were in town, Lainey convinced them to visit  and buy her a toy. She led them straight to the expensive stuff and picked out a science kit.

“Mad science!” Lainey exclaimed in her spooky Dr. Frankenstein voice.

Soon Lainey split cornstarch across the dining room table, mixed it with a packet from the kit, and made glow in the dark slime. She dragged family members one-by-one into her closet to show how brightly the goop glowed.

Later, Lainey dove into her kit again, this time discovering how to make rock candy.

“We have to read the constructions!” she directed. (That's no typo.)

The recipe called for 1 cup of sugar, a half-cup of hot water and food coloring. Lainey and then balanced a across the top of the glass. A trimming of kite string, with a paperclip on the end, hung from the chopstick to collect the crystals.

“It’s going to take a whole week, Lainey,” I warned. “Can you wait that long?”

Lainey sighed.

“I know!” she announced. “I’ll !”

Lainey ripped out several pages of paper from a notepad, stapled the sheets together and then titled the journal, "How To Make Hard Rock Candy." She drew a picture of her blue food-colored solution and wrote, "The rock candy is not ready."

The next morning Lainey woke up and rushed into the kitchen. The sugar water hadn’t changed a bit. She drew a similar blue picture and wrote, "The rock candy is not ready."

Days went by with little progress—same drawing and sentence.

“You should write that the water is cloudy,” I suggested. “Change it up a bit?”

“No thank you,” Lainey said.

Her journal went neglected for several days. Meanwhile sugar crystals formed on the side of the glass, and then clustered on the string.

Finally, Lainey found her journal and wrote, “The rock candy is ready,” and drew a crystal hanging on a string.

And then she ate her experiment— for breakfast.

Nice to see Lainey writing like dad, and conducting science experiments like mom. The sugar addiction comes from both sides of the family. And her good looks and intelligence?  All mom.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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