Friday, March 22, 2013

In Other News, Water is Wet

My son, being three years old, is naturally fascinated with water. Any time I need him out from underfoot for a few minutes while I make dinner, or fold laundry, or unload the groceries, I can always keep him busy by letting him play with water in the sink.

His fascination with water started very early, in the bathtub. Many babies hate baths at first, but my son loved the water as soon as he could kick his feet and make it splash.
When he got big enough to play with bubbles, tubby toys, and bathtub crayons, he would gladly have stayed in the tub until he shriveled up like a raisin.

And when summer came and he had an entire pool to play in, my otter baby was in his glory.

So what is it about water that is so fascinating? Is it how it looks, how it feels, how it sounds, how it moves? I think it’s all of those things, and more. Water can run through your hands, fly into the air, separate into tiny droplets then join together into a puddle. It can make a sprinkle of sugar or salt disappear, turn a blob of soap into a froth of bubbles, and change a pinch of dull-colored powder into a cup of brightly flavored drink. It can make your shirt stick to you. It can transform boring dirt into delightful mud. It can be as huge as an ocean, with waves that knock you over. It can be as tiny as a drop of dew sparkling on a flower petal. It can be a home to snails and tadpoles and sea stars and sharks and octopi.
(Photo taken by my son at the New England Aquarium.)
It can fall from the sky. It can bubble up from the earth. It can turn hard, crunchy pasta into delicious, chewable dinner. It can cool you off on a hot day – either by pouring it on your outside or by pouring it into your inside. It can make a beautiful rainbow in the sky.
When you stop and think about all the things that water can do, it’s surprising that we adults don’t spend more time playing with it. It is pretty amazing stuff, after all. And best of all, it’s WET!!

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