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Reading not only unveils the universe to children, it also helps them come up with really great excuses.  For example, my son Jay will do or say just about anything to get Phil or me to either sleep in bed with him or bring him into our bed.  After he has exhausted the “I’m thirsty; I’m hungry; I have to go potty; I’m scared” routine without success, he really ups the creative ante.

Which is why I had to laugh when, even though it was the not-funny time of 10:00 p.m, he came out into the living room last night and said, “I have sulfuric acid in my brain and it’s burning so that’s why I have to sleep in your bed.” It didn’t work, but I did have to give him major points for originality.

He’s been fascinated with sulfuric acid ever since he got into The Magic School Bus series, and the Lost in the Solar System book in particular.  You see, Venus’ upper atmosphere is comprised largely of sulfuric acid, which is why its clouds are yellow.  Couple the concept of a chemical that can melt skin surrounding a planet in the uber-cool solar system and you have a recipe for creating major intrigue in the minds of little boys.

Next thing you know he’ll be telling me there are sub-atomic dust particles in his food as an excuse for not eating food he doesn’t like.  (Hopefully he isn’t right…)

Categories: Children's Books, Family · Tags: , , ,



  1. I had to laugh so much when I read this – my two are just the same! We are taking them to the theatre next week to see Horrible Science (may be a British thing) and fully expect repercussions as they learn more than we know. The older I get, the more I am convinced that reading is the answer to everything. Good luck with your writing – only wish I had such a level of creativity!!

  2. There’s one I haven’t heard before! My children tend to develop things like eyebrow aches and toe nail cramps at bedtime.

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