Sunday, March 15, 2009

I'll make a scientist of her yet

Sometimes I need to go in and work on weekends. The clinic isn't open, no one is there, and I don't have any stat samples I need to run. I just have such a back log that it makes sense for me to load up another 70 samples (the max the samples tray can hold) and run them over the weekend when the instrument is not doing anything anyway. It takes me very little time to get the samples into the tray and hit 'play' on the instrument. If I set it up right I can be in and out of there in as little as 15 minutes. I was not that on it this past Friday since I was trying to get out and get us up to Austin to meet some friends from Florida that were in town for South by Southwest. Her husband was doing a talk at the programmers section, I am uber jealous. I want to go to SxSW so I can see the bloggies and all my fav bloggers in real life but the tickets are all inclusive and cost like $400. I don't want to see the damn bands and all the other crap, I want to see the bloggies. Regardless, I did not have all my work set up nice on Friday night so I knew that I would be going in this weekend and spending like 2 hours in there. Also, the hubby is on shift so I had the kid to entertain the whole time.

I know I had to be breaking at least 50 OSHA laws by doing this but in with me she went. Hey, I'm the only chemist in there. If I can't keep my kid safe then I had no business being in there myself. Note, there is something about analytical chemists that ya'll may not know. We put the 'anal' in analytical. Our work areas must be just so and most things shant be touched by anyone but us. That's just the way we are. We need t-shirts that read Does not play well with others. That we are let out in public at all is just a testament to how low society has fallen.

I came prepared though, oh my yes I did. She's been in there before, the picture is actually of the first time she went in to play. I knew what entertained her so I came with what she needed for maximum entertainment time. She really grooved on the pipettors but she wanted chemicals with color. I tried explaining most chemicals looked just like water and didn't have color. I was not about to let her play with chemicals anyway but I wasn't going to bother with that battle when I knew that the color of water would suffice enough for her to lose interest. We're decent parents, we don't let the kid run in traffic or play with toxic chemicals. Instead I happen to have 8 different colors of food coloring at home that I brought with.

You see that little sink behind her in the picture? I set that up as her bench space so that a sink and water was readily available and I could work at my own bench (the one she is standing at in the photo) unimpeded. It worked fabulously. I gave her 8 plastic test tubes I made concentrated colors into, set up 20 more test tubes that were empty. Gave her 2 pipettors and a ton of disposable squeeze bulbs. A few beakers and told her to have at it. I wanted to get ya'll pictures of the mess that insued but after about an hour and a half she declared herself done (she had not bothered me at all in this time period, just chatted a bit) and then proceeded to clean her work area. Without prompting. It was nutty. She is great at places like school and after school care, she is always the one who is helping the teacher clean and what not. At home, oh hell no. She has sadly, gleaned our cleaning habits and on top of that is a collector. Of anything. And strews it about the house at will. Thank God she obviously does not drag this habit outside of her home. Of course this really should not surprise me, like I said, at work I am an insanely anal person when it comes to workspace. Everything must be just so. This seemed to be a genetic trait and I am so ok with that. It's the little things that are important, I got my work done, the kid was fully entertained and no one got hurt.


Trailboss said...

It looks like she had a great time. I used to love to go in Dad's lab and play with things. Like letting mercury bounce around on the floor in little balls. It was fun!

MichelleSG said...

Mercury?! Christ woman, we don't let anyone play with that stuff anymore. A wee bit too carcinogenic I think.