Last week no one could take a bath at our house, only the shower was usable. It was not due to a plumbing problem. No siree. This time the boys were conducting an experiment. To explain it let me go back to the beginning.

There are days when I give in to simple bribery to keep the kids from acting out at stores when we have to run errands. It was a Saturday, maybe a Friday, and I wanted to go in three stores. I wanted no outbursts, no statements of “I’m bored,” no broken merchandise that would make money disappear from my wallet.

So I said the words “if you guys behave I will get you a special treat.” There was joy in the blue minivan. Three kids, aged 13 years and under, were contemplating what that treat might be. Dairy Queen has re-opened for the season, McDonald’s was not too far away, one of the stops was the grocery store and that could include Oreo’s.

The first stop in the resale shop, picking up clothing I had put on hold the day before, went well. The second stop in the dollar store to pick up three dinner plates with roosters painted on them went even better so we headed to the toy section and I said everyone gets one thing.

There the boys found Giant Foam Growing Figures by Rand! These things claimed they would grow several times their size if placed in water. What is even better is that they are in shapes of The Amazing Spider-Man villains. David and Sam could choose from Rhino, Lizard and Venom.

Better yet they would become huge if left in water for four days.

As soon as we got home the tub was filled up to two inches and the toys sank to the bottom. This particular faucet has a drip and with the stopper in, the tub slowly filled up over the course of four days.

Everyday we checked the creatures. “Are they getting bigger,” I asked. “Oh, yes,” was the enthusiastic answer. The boys had saved to original packaging and determined that the Growing Figures had indeed grown.

While in the water these things never got soft, they continued to be a harder texture. The colors seemed to get a bit grayer but the facial features remained recognizable.

Now Lizard and Venom are out of the tub and I have not seen them since. It was a good experiment while it lasted but I believe Sam is glad to have his bathtub back.

Karyn Bowman lives in Kankakee County with her outdoor writer husband and four children. Become friends with Karyn on Facebook.

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