Unlucky Sloth’s Lucky Day

Ancient sloth poop at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

“But why could it not get out?” they asked, again, several times, with great concern.

“There was no door,” she replied.

* * *

I guess I should have named this post “Lucky Betsy’s Unlucky Day,” because when I came to see that the post had been published, it had, minus 99% of the story. The only thing that remained were the two lines above, from somewhere in the middle of the post. I have no idea how this happened. Nearly my entire text fell into oblivion, just like the giant sloth did 11,000 years ago. I’d stolen time to write about it while my niece watche  the bots, and now she’s gone, and so it will have to wait for a moment when the bots are trying to spread yogurt all over themselves or open up the new apple juice container or tip over my coffee by themselves. Oh well. The sloth waited 11,000 years to be discovered by us; I guess it can wait another day. Sometimes I believe that motherhood and blogging are about as compatible as a ground sloth and an underground cave.

Discoverments One Through Three

In case you didn’t know, this is a discoverment.

It is one of several discoverments by Mbot that we have had in our house lately. The first, a few weeks ago, was born unchaperoned in the bathroom. It was a mixing discoverment, and consisted of a concoction of toothpaste, expensive soap, and tap water stirred vigorously with his brother’s toothbrush until the soap disappeared, bubbles formed, and water appeared  on the floor and the clothing and the brother.

The word “discoverment,” in case you didn’t know, is what Mbot came home from preschool one day saying his class had done. I have not been able to ascertain the details. I am quite certain that Mrs. Pursell did an experiment and made a discovery. No matter its origins, I am a fan of the word.

The next day, when another mixing discoverment was attempted, to see if soap plus toothpaste plus water still made bubbles and if it turned color, I suggested we only do discoverments together, at the kitchen table. I got out the homemade play dough, the only kind Gbot doesn’t eat, and small vials of food coloring. I pulled out four clumps of dough for each Bot. I instructed them to press a hole in the middle with their thumbs. During this stage of the discoverment, Mbot pronounced with enthusiasm that this work was his best work. I dribbled several drops of food coloring into each hole and pinched it closed. Then I let the Bots pummel them.

I’m not sure how much color theory they absorbed, but it kept them happily occupied for at least twenty minutes.

Then, a few days ago, during our recycle parade, we came across Mr. Jeff while he was busy eradicating weeds from the grounds. He carried the most fascinating large white jug of poison connected by a flexible hose to a squirt mechanism. Mbot and Gbot were dropping into the recycle bin the old milk jugs and paper towel tubes they’d be in charge of marching with, when Mbot announced that we could MAKE a thing like Mr. Jeff’s. Out of a milk container and a cardboard tube and a squirty top. “You’re right!” I said, and then we got back inside and forgot about it.

Until this morning. When, while cleaning up from breakfast, I heard Mbot call from half way to the bathroom, “Mom! Now I’m gonna fill the tank with hot water!’

I stopped loading the dishwasher and sprinted.

Mbot was holding the contraption pictured above, except that it wasn’t taped together yet. “Let’s talk about exactly what you plan to do,” I said, and we sat down together on the sofa. “Show me.”

He would fill the tank, like that, and then add the hose, like that, and then water the plants, like that. I decided that a mother should not impede scientific progress, and so I offered to help with a piece of duct tape. I also suggested a way to refill the tank, with a funnel. I dug a water jug out from under the kitchen sink, filled it, and ordered everyone into their rain boots.

Out on the patio, Mbot held the discoverment while I poured in the water. “Now where are you going to put the water?” I asked, having lost sight of our ultimate goal. “In the sand box? Here, how about in this bowl?”

“I am going to water the plant so it doesn’t die,” Mbot announced, and proceeded to turn the discoverment upside down on the verbena bush. It worked.

Did you make any discoverments today?