Saturday, September 3, 2011

Better Parenting via Science Theory**

There are several scientific theories that would have been discovered faster if only the world of science had allowed for mothers to be part of the discussion much earlier in history.

Nature seeks homeostasis: This is a truism. Every time I wash my floor, a child attempts to reassert the natural sticky feeling their feet have become accustomed to, by spilling something impossibly hard to clean up within ten minutes of the floor actually drying. Olive oil, maple syrup, and salt are amongst three of the most memorable illustrations of this theory in practice.

Opposites Attract: Clean white wall. Permanent Black Marker. Any questions? I mean, other than from my own mother asking why in heaven’s name do I even own a permanent black marker, or from my mother-in-law, where is this clean white wall you speak of?

Chaos Theory: Some individuals would stipulate that a child's very essence illustrates Chaos Theory's validity, independent of space, time or setting. Some individuals don't yet know the untrammeled power of a hungry child. For those who are still confused by chaos theory, perhaps a live demonstration is in order.  Please come on over to my house at five o'clock and try to fix dinner.  I will take a nap. 

Matter cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed.

Exhibit A: my son’s laundry.
Exhibit B: An orange oversized tee he got in 3rd grade that defies all maternal efforts to transform or destroy. Handing it down has not stopped the older child from retrieving it for his wardrobe. Purchasing new shirts has produced no measurable effect. Now that it is, arguably, a bit tight around the arms, he still resents the fact that his mom has twice attempted to give it to goodwill. The shirt in question is currently stored in a secret bunker under his bed and heavily guarded by legos, books, smelly socks and other items that if discovered, would lead his mother to despair.

Time is relative theory: The simple errand of driving to school normally takes twenty minutes. Starting at 8:39 a.m. after Mom has whisked away breakfast materials and begun the getting dressed routine for all occupants still home, there is a tearful phone call from her third grade son. “Today is bake sale day and I didn’t bring any cookies.” Thinking about the frozen cookie dough in the freezer, Mom stupidly agrees to bring something by 10:30, as the bake sale starts at 11.

While in the process of getting the toddlers dressed, Mom throws the cookies in the oven, locates shoes, puts three unmatched socks in the laundry basket, flushes an abandoned toilet, puts milk away, turns off the lights, removes four bikes and two whiffle ball bats from the driveway, takes the cookies out of the oven, straps the two toddlers (who both want cookies) in their car seats and the baby and then signs a form for a package being delivered before starting the car.

Once in the car, Mom remembers that the aforementioned cookies are still in the kitchen. Retrieving the cookies, the phone will ring; it will be the same child asking if you are bringing the cookies. While inside, Mom will spot permission slip that needs to be dropped off and feel so virtuous for multi-tasking, she will run to her closet to gather the dry cleaning. Leaving for the second time, Mom gets half way down the driveway before realizing; she brought her purse in, but not out. In the few seconds Mom is in the house, the phone rings again, she forces herself to ignore it. Grabbing a prescription bottle on the counter that is about to run out, Mom returns to the car with her purse, cell phone and a diet coke. Triple checking to make sure she has all her children, her errands, and all required equipment for those errands, she drives.

It is part of the law of nature that she will then hit every red light plus have to navigate one traffic jam owing to a cop issuing a ticket and a second at a train crossing. She arrives around 12:15. The bake sale is over, and the volunteer has several dozen frozen dough baked cookies left over. When she checks the message on her answering machine at home from the phone call she ignored, it was her son saying “Never mind, third grade isn’t doing the bake sale this week, it’s fourth grade.”

Theory of Gravity: How annoyed your mother will be after enduring the above mentioned scenario versus. how much she loves you.

Next week: Scientific Law in Relationships:

Theory of Constancy: The level of stress in a marriage is constant, the level felt by the individuals within the marriage, is fluid.
** Originally ran on January 20, 2008, back when I only had 8 children. What a piker! 


dotty said...

I feel your pain. The bake sale (non-bake sale) juggle is hilarious and a frequent event in my home b/c boys are so wrong about what needs to happen when. But, I so often forget to ignore their reports of what I need to do for the school and when. I kick into mom solver too. Very funny sequence of events. That last ignored call is always the one that gets ya. So true. Well written and I could here the daadaadaaadaaaaa, brwwwnnn, brwwwwnn, daaadaaa in the back ground.

MightyMighty said...

This is hilarious! I've never quite articulated it, but it's so true. It also explains why my husband, who never multi-tasks or thinks to double-up on errands (such as dropping off a prescription while running to the library), doesn't understand why it takes me so long to get out of the house.

Of course it takes me longer. I'm thinking about everybody's everything and you're just thinking about you! If I was just in charge of myself, then of course I would always be on time and wear a clean shirt. It's the whole "anything I don't do won't get done" thing that really leaves me scrambling to at least be efficient about it.

And, um, I only have one kid with on the I'm really in awe of how good-natured you are! It's moms like you writing things like this that convince me that we'll be fine if we are blessed with the big family we want.

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!