Thanks to science, that lime-mint mojito feeling doesn’t have to go away when you leave the bar. You can smear it on your mouth, wearing it as a lip balm everywhere you go, because it’s always 5 ‘o clock somewhere. I’m not sure if that’s what my son Alex was thinking when he chose the flavors for his lip balm chemistry class lab, but he brought the finished product home and I decided that he is the most amazing thing I ever helped make in my life. What a thoughtful child! How did he know that his mother would appreciate a mojito flavored lip balm? I didn’t even know I wanted this. I never use lip balm, but when I opened the little container in which he put the concoction, I noted the smell right away and I thought he was just a genius. It smells like the real thing. And, like any mom of a teenage boy who doesn’t always like to share details about his day, I asked for details—lots and lots of details. Usually, this conversation goes like this:
Me: So, how was your day?
Alex: Okay, I guess.
Me: You sound a little glum. What’s wrong? What’s wrong! Tell me! Are you okay?
Alex: Mom, I’m fine, just really tired. My day went by so fast. I don’t really remember everything. How was your day?
Me: Don’t change the subject. Nothing happens during my day. I work on the computer while the cat yells at me. Then, I run on a treadmill and talk to lawn chairs in the garage. You know this already. What did you eat for lunch?
Me: What else?
Alex: I have homework.
Me: A lot or a little? Hey—a lot or a little?
(There is no answer. He usually has his earbuds on by now and is listening to something other than my annoying voice so that he can do his homework.)
However, on the mojito lip balm chemistry lab day, he came home and greeted me with an enthusiastic: Hey, Mom! Guess what I did today! I made mojito flavored lip balm!
Me: Wow! Did other students in the class make mojito flavored lip balm?
Alex: Surprisingly no. They just used one flavor at a time, but I mixed the mint and lime together and told everyone what I was doing.
Me: What did they say?
Alex: They asked, ‘Do you drink mojitos?’
Me: And what did you say?
Alex: No, but I’ve had mojito flavored cookies, ice cream and jelly beans and stuff and they’re pretty good.
Me: And what did they say?
Alex: They didn’t believe me.
Me: You could always blame your parents in that situation. You could always say something like, ‘No, but my lame parents drink mojitos,’ and then snort while you laugh. That goes over really well.
Alex: Yeah, uh, thanks. In any case, I also dyed it green, so be careful—use it on your lips only. If you get it around your lips and onto your face, you’ll look like the Joker.
Me: Got it. Also, do you have the recipe?
Alex: I do. It’s really easy.
And then, he actually gave me the instructions for making this lip balm—in case I ever run out. I’ll share them with you:
Lip Balm Lab from Mrs. Ryan’s Chemistry Class (which also counts for college credit—yay!)
beaker (100 ml size)
40 grams of petroleum jelly
2 drops of glycerin
Slowly heat the petroleum jelly in the beaker on low heat (60° Celsius). (I suppose you could do this part in a saucepan on really, really low heat in the kitchen. Don’t quote me on that though. I haven’t tried it yet.) Then, remove the petroleum jelly from the heat and add in the glycerin drops. Stir the mixture until it resembles thick honey. Add food dye and coloring according to your liking.
With this recipe, you’ll probably run out of lip balm in maybe a few hours, but you could always just keep whipping up batches. Between batches, moisten your lips with actual mojitos to numb the dry, cracking stinging sensations resulting from asking for details from teens and talking to lawn chairs.
Your Turn: What’s the best class project you ever brought home or received from a child?