And today’s lesson is…

that water will expand when heated. 

Most of us knew this.  But some of us didn’t.  So when one of us put into the microwave the little acrylic cup that has the liquid in-between two walls so when you shake it, glitter and seahorses float about, well, we all heard the reaction.  Some of us even felt it too!

This was last night’s excitement actually.  I was sitting in the living room and heard a boom.  Not a “ball hitting the ceiling” or “child hitting the wall” type of boom.  This was a boom that needed investigating.  Josh, who was in the dining room, was already asking questions to Miriam and Sean.

Now, I will admit, my first thought was that Sean did something.  Sean is not a troublemaker.   It just finds him sometimes.  But as I listened to Josh say words like “microwave” and “don’t put that in there” and Miriam saying “I didn’t know you couldn’t put that in there!”, I then leapt to the next conclusion that she put something metal into the microwave.

Exhibit A


But it was neither Sean’s doings nor metal in the microwave.  It was Miriam, using one of the fun shaky cups into the microwave.  The heat expanded the liquid between the two layers until the cup popped apart.  And the force of that caused the microwave door to burst open.  Sean, who was feeding the dogs in the kitchen, had his back turned to the microwave, suddenly had glittery liquid all over the back of him.

Honestly, I couldn’t quite capture all the glitter that was in his hair, on his shirt, on his arms.  Poor guy.  No twelve-year-old boy wants to be coated in glitter.  (See Exhibit A. ) Oh, and we’re also happy he didn’t get burned by hot liquid!

After reassuring a truly upset Miriam that she didn’t actually break the microwave or her brother, just the cup, we ventured into the kitchen to take stock of the carnage.

Exhibit B

There, inside our microwave which was now also glitter coated with bits of seahorses and shells, we found the outer layer of the cup, very much mangled.  Proving that indeed, these cups are not meant to be microwaved.  (See Exhibit B.)

On the floor was the inner layer of the cup, equally mangled. (See Exhibit C.)  I picked it up, looked inside of it, and saw….an ice cube?

The conversation then went something like this…

Me – “Miriam, why did you put the cup in the microwave?”

Her – “I wanted to melt my ice cube.”

Me – “You couldn’t just…I don’t know…get water?”

Exhibit C

The most ironic part – the ice cube was still perfectly in tact, inside the  mangled cup, as seen below in Exhibit D. 

You know, I sometimes sit at night on the couch, my brain oozing out one ear, thinking of all the things I could be doing in my life.  Volunteering, helping orphans, knitting blankets for elderly people, working on my book, watching a television show all the way through.  But I can’t do those things.  Why?  Because I have to use that spare time to explain to my children things like why we don’t use plastic cups to melt ice cubes in the microwave.  And why the plastic up blew up inside the microwave.  And that the best way to de-glitter yourself is by showering.  And being thankful that no one was actually injured by the exploding cup because imagine trying to explain THAT one to the triage nurse at the ER.  I really don’t want to be the most entertaining story of the year at the ER.  And yes, I took pictures.  Why?  As proof that these things really do happen to us!

Exhibit D