While driving to Cody’s physical therapy this morning, Cody asked me why the dump truck in front of us kept breaking. We were driving down a hill at the time so I explained to him about momentum and used his train track set at home as an analogy. The train goes faster down a hill because it has mass and velocity. I have a BS in Microbiology and, of the handful of C’s I got in college, my physic classes were two of them. We were heading into murky waters. We then turned right and went up a hill. Cody asked if momentum was helping us up the hill like it did when we were going down the hill. So then I busted out the concept of gravity.
Cody learned about the solar system in his preschool last year and he loved it. He even has a favorite planet, Uranus, which makes me snicker a little. Juvenile, I know, but I can’t help it. He does not know why it makes me laugh, he likes Uranus because it has 27 moons and that is pretty neat. Anyway, he knows about gravity and our atmosphere and how it keeps us from floating into space. So after thinking about this for a while he asked me how much gravity we have and if the gravity ever leaks away. Hum. I have no idea how much gravity we have (is this something I should know?) but I am pretty sure it does not leak out of our atmosphere. I fumbled my way along answering as best I could until, lucky for me, the conversation turned to “that stuff plants put into the atmosphere” – his words, not mine. So we discussed the Krebs cycle in the most basic of terms.
I was happily talking about O2 and CO2 and the relationships between different living things when we turned into the parking lot. Cody was asking how plants get carbon dioxide and get rid of oxygen since “they don’t have mouths”. I started to tell him about stomata, these tiny holes that open and close in the leaves of plants, when Carter hollered out “LOOK – A ‘STRUCTION SITE!!”. The office building where we were going was getting a new roof and there were three guys with drills and various power tools.
Well, as far as the boys were concerned, that was the end of the conversation. Me and my geeky science facts were no competition for what was up on that roof.