Yesterday we threw a belated eighth birthday party for Daisy. We held it at a local ceramics studio, so the kids did a couple of different activities, including making something out of clay, and then glazing a pre-made item. In general, the party probably resembled an art class at her school more than it resembled a typical kid birthday party, but it was what she wanted. Daisy digs structure.
A couple of the boy attendees required a bit of coaxing to get into the ceramic spirit. One boy in particular cracked me up. At one point Hank was talking about the kiln (the clay oven), explaining it it gets super hot, even hotter than a kitchen oven. The boy hollered out, "Hot enough to melt.... TITANIUM?"
I had been doing my best to stay away from all the children. I figure that large groups of kids are really only a few neuron misfires away from going completely Lord of the Flies. The titanium question clearly required my expertise however.
I whipped out my trusty Treo and googled up the melting point of titanium. Turns out, it's about 3000 degrees Farenheit. I approached the kid and informed him that the kiln would be unable to melt his theoretical titanium. He stared at me intently, much more engaged in our conversation than in the clay activity.
"What about hot lava? Could hot lava melt titanium?" he asked eagerly.
I retreated out of the room again and fired up the Treo once more. Within a minute, I had his answer.
"Sorry, kid. Titanium melts at around 3000 degrees and hot lava only really gets up to about 2000. So, no, not even hot lava will melt titanium."
"Whoa!" he exclaimed, his eyes getting big, "So.... that means that we could build a TITANIUM SUBMARINE and then sail it through a sea of hot lava!"
I blinked at the titanium-obsessed child.
"Well, I guess so. We'd cook ourselves while piloting the sub, but the submarine would survive just fine."
The boy pondered this development while I made a hasty exit from the room. He found me a little while later and asked, "What if we let a titanium robot drive the sub?"
I blinked at him some more. It's how I cope.
"Ok. I guess that would work. Yes, a titanium robot could drive a titanium submarine through hot lava."
"NO!" he squealed with delight, "Only the OUTSIDE of the robot is made of titanium. The inside and all the wires would melt!"
The child hopped excitedly on one foot, thrilled to have trapped me inside his wet paper bag of a logic trap.
"Go do your clay, kid."
Check and mate. Grownups win every argument.
Anyway, the party went pretty well. My job was mostly to run errands during the festivities, a task that I am well suited for. Errand running and googling are two of my bestest skills.
After the kids did their clay activities, we brought out the ice cream and toppings, and made ice cream sundaes for the kids. Unfortunately, we didn't time this perfectly, because after they ate their sundaes, they still had about 20 minutes to kill before their parents showed up. So, these 15 kids, hopped up on their extreme sugar highs, vibrated their way into the ceramic studio show room AND BEGAN HANDLING ALL THE FRAGILE CERAMICS FOR SALE.
I nervously darted between packs of kids, imploring them to JUST LOOK at the pretty ceramics, all the while contemplating how inadequate the bull-in-a-china-shop metaphor was in this case. How about 15 bulls amped up on sprinkles and chocolate sauce? Now, that's a party.
Stunningly, we reattached all the kids to their parents before any of them broke anything. Unbelievable.
And that was Daisy's party.