Cleaning pennies with ketchup and two very relavant tangents

I’m going to begin with a tangent, but stick with me, because this rabbit trail is leading straight to a toddler activity, I promise.

I am a person who enjoys an ice cold Diet Coke, or twelve, and if you also enjoy Diet Coke then, like me, you have probably encountered friends and strangers who feel obligated to tell you how horrible Diet Coke is for you.

It’s weird, but whatever.

One anti-Diet Coke anecdote is giving a bizarre example exposing how acidic Diet Coke is…did you know Diet Coke can clean rust off a bumper!? This particular claim annoys me, and I always respond WITH THE TRUTH, which is that acidity doesn’t make something unhealthy. In fact, sports drinks, juice, wine and even La Croix are all pretty corrosive.

Someone recently tried to scare me off with the acidity thing, and I immediately went to work educating them that a lot of healthy foods and drinks are acidic. After all, you can clean a penny with ketchup.

That stopped the conversation in its tracks.

Everyone was confused and amused because, turns out, I’m the only person who grew up cleaning pennies with ketchup in her granny’s kitchen.

You guys, this is one of my fondest memories.

So I decided to show David how to clean pennies like I used to when I was a little girl.

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It’s simple, just squirt enough ketchup on a plate to completely cover the pennies.

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The longer the pennies stay in the ketchup the shinier they’ll be. I remember letting the pennies sit for a long time so they’d be as possible. David isn’t as patient, but he swirled them around for a while.

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When you’re done, wipe the ketchup off and you are the proud owner of a shiny, looks-like-new penny.

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When David’s older this could be a fun science lesson about pH levels; you could try out different foods — milk, applesauce, corn syrup, lime juice — and record the effects (and compare it to this handy pH chart).

For now, David was just excited to get his shiny money back into his piggy bank as quickly as possible.

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Which brings me to my second tangent.

Is anyone else’s kid obsessed with money?

David is. And not even because of the monetary value — he just likes little bits of things; collections.

Occasionally David will ask me, “Mommy, do you have any money for me?” And the answer is always no, no I do not have money for you, you little beggar, and maybe this is a good time to remind you that you owe me nearly four years of back rent.

David will do anything for money, and every now and then I give him a chore. I know, the next logical step is to set up a chore chart for him but I’m not organized enough for something like that, so I give him occasional, arbitrary chores.

“David, if you clean up those blocks I’ll give you a money,” I say. I also say “a money” because I’m not organized enough to explain to him that the word “money” is both singular and plural.

He throws a fit and I roll my eyes and say, “Fine, but you’re not getting any money.”

Then the next thing I know the blocks are all organized in the block box, and I’m standing on a chair, triumphant and shouting, “This is capitalism at work, son!”

And David is in the other room, ignoring me while he counts and sorts his money.

1 Comment

  1. Karren Haller August 12, 2015

    What a cute story, he is learning young isnt he.
    Thanks for sharing on OMHGWW today!

    Hope you have a great week!


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