Thursday, August 21, 2008

Oh, the carnage

I had a flash of inspiration a few weeks ago, when I realized that I could stop Liza from whining about wanting to go on the rides at the mall if I just let her take some of the change from her bank and ride the damn things already. This works great, only she burned through all of her quarters really fast, and she hasn't yet figured out that she can exchange the other denominations for quarters, so we were trying to figure out a way she could get some more quarters (other than waiting for the inevitable package full of quarters and sugar from Grandma, thanks a lot, Mom).

We came up with a list of five chores she would do every day, and if she did them for five days, she got two quarters, which is enough to ride one of the cheaper rides at the mall. So now she makes her bed twice a day, empties the trashcan in her room once a week, picks up all of her shoes before Jason gets home every day, puts away everything on the floor in her room before bed every night, and clears her dishes after every meal. And she loves doing it. And it costs me $0.50 a week. Bargain!


Today she was clearing off her lunch dishes when the Pyrex custard cup of uneaten corn that was sitting on her plastic plate obeyed the laws of inertia and gravity and hit the floor with a ringing SPANG!, sending a cascade of lethal glass pieces everywhere. EVERYWHERE. While we were both shoeless.

Luckily, we were both standing still when it happened, and Liza (for once) immediately obeyed me and stood still until I could get shoes for both of us and carry her out of the blast zone. Neither of us was cut (at least not then).

And that was the start of 45 minutes of continuous debris removal. I swept up with a broom, then used a wet paper towel to pick up what I thought were the last few microscopic bits. While on my hands and knees doing that, I looked under the table, where it was sparkling like freaking Las Vegas, and I resigned myself to vacuuming a day early this week. And then I picked a 1/4" long piece of glass out of the side of my thumb and tried to stop bleeding on the floor.

I hauled out the vacuum and swept the whole main floor of the house twice, finding daggers of glass an inch long as far as 12 feet away from the point of impact. There was one sitting on the carpet in the living room, for god's sake, a foot away from where I had put my daughter so she would be safe from the glass during cleanup. That's about 15 feet from the craft area where the initial impact occurred, in case you're keeping track.

So then I used the wet Swiffer to mop the whole wood floor, changing pads twice, each time being rewarded with extra daggers of glass and overall sparkliness that means we're going to be wearing shoes in the house for a very, very long time.

The glass splinters, of course, imbedded themselves in the soles of my sandals while I was cleaning, so not only do I get to wear shoes in the house, but I have to take them off before I can walk on the carpet on the other levels of the house, lest I spread the glass dust into the carpet.

Well, at least now it's not so convenient to nip down to the kitchen for a snack while I'm working in the office. Of course, it's not so easy to nip down to the laundry room to see if the sheets are dry yet, either, which is a bit of a pain.

Note to self: Do not allow preschooler to use Pyrex ever again.

1 comment:

mlf said...

My kids use the plastic plates from our hiking/picnic supplies. Many drops have yielded no shards.

A question for the chemist of the blog:
Is the tendency of the pyrex to explode into shards a result of the prestress in the pyrex glass? Dropping normal glass/ceramic doesn't seem to have such explosive behavior.