Sunday, October 08, 2006

Ginny's Apron

When Granny's mother was a little girl she lived with her parents, Lillian and Percy, and her younger sister, Florence; they called her Ginny, because her name is Virginia.

Well, when Ginny was as little as little and as young as young, but still able to walk and talk, her Mama and Daddy were pretty young themselves (why, Percy was so young he still had hair). Ginny was 2½ when this story happened.

So, one day, Percy and Lillian were sitting at their kitchen table with their best friends, the Maddoxes, drinking coffee and talking about the things grown-ups talk about, like the weather and the crops and children and taxes. Ginny started out in the kitchen with them, but when they got to talking about taxes, Ginny got very bored. She couldn't think of anything less interesting to talk about in the whole world (although, now that she is a grown-up, she can talk about them at great length, herself). So, Lillian and Percy and the Maddoxes continued to talk about taxes, and Ginny left the kitchen to entertain herself. Well, this talk about taxes was so interesting to the grown-ups that they didn't even notice that Ginny had gotten very, very quiet. Usually grown-ups know that when little children are very, very quiet they (the grown-ups) had better go check and see what they (the children) are up to. But on this day, all of that talk about taxes just kept their attention (and as I've mentioned, Lillian and Percy were still very young themselves.) Then they started talking about crops and the possibility of frost, and that was also very riveting.

This had been going on for a while, and Lillian had refilled the coffee cups twice, when Percy noticed that Ginny was walking back and forth beyond the kitchen door. She would walk from the bathroom to the pantry at a regular pace, but when she went back from the pantry to the bathroom she walked slowly and she held up the hem of her apron oh so carefully. It looked to Percy like she was carrying something in her apron on her trips to the bathroom. So, Percy watched Ginny do this three or four times, and then it occurred to him (I said that he was still young, but he was growing older by the minute) that what is kept in a pantry is food, and in no way did that belong in the bathroom. Also, Ginny was doing her carrying back and forth in that very quiet way that means a child is doing a scientific experiment, trying to find out how something works. And, Percy knew, sometimes when a child tries to find out how the world works grown-ups are dismayed by the particular experiment they set up. So, Percy said to himself, "I had better go and see what that child is doing." And so he did.

Percy got up and followed Ginny into the bathroom. He got there just in time to see her take a potato from her apron and put it in the toilet. Oh, my! There were very many potatoes in the toilet --— so many, that the water had run over and was making a puddle on the floor! Percy was very impressed. Ginny had been doing an experiment in water displacement. She had been finding out what happens when you add a solid thing (in this case potatoes) to a container of liquid (in this case, a toilet with water). She had been finding out that the more potatoes you add, the higher the water goes. How fascinating! She had discovered that if you add enough potatoes, the water will run right over the top of the toilet and make a mess for your Mama or your Daddy to clean up!


J said...

That Grandma, so smart. ;) Doesn't look like Percy had MUCH hair, even then.

Betty said...

Great story. Isn't it funny how quiet children get when they're getting into something?

Maya's Granny said...

J, No Percy didn't have much hair, even then.

Betty, always check when they are quiet, concentration is quiet, and quiet is the hallmark of scientific inquiry.

Cuppa said...

The potatoes in that "pot" will never boil.

Maya's Granny said...

That is very funny! I wish I had thought of it.