Family Astrophysics

A family is a universe unto itself, with distinct principles that govern its operation. I have observed the following immutable laws of physics in our family, and some of them may apply to your family as well.

The Law of Amplification – When two boys who weigh a combined 70 pounds attain critical velocity, they are capable of producing the approximate decibel level of a rhinoceros stampede as they barrel down the hallway at 6 a.m.

The Law of Dispersion – Children, like nature, abhor a vacuum. Given a clean surface, they will gradually fill it completely with debris. Regardless if the area is as small as a closet or as large as a basketball court, they will cover it corner to corner with toys, food, and random household objects. This law is directly related to the following:

The Dispersion Probability –The sharpest, most painful object in any given field of child-created detritus is always located directly where your foot is about to land.

The Law of Sibling Thermodynamics – Seven seconds after a parent enters the bathroom or answers a telephone call, a previously stable sibling relationship will dissolve into screaming, tear-soaked chaos.

The Hot Beverage Singularity Principle – The motion of a parent relaxing into the couch with a cup of tea immediately creates a temporary black hole. Even children orbiting in other rooms cannot resist the gravitational pull and will experience an irresistable urge to climb on said parent, or perform acrobatics in his or her immediate vicinity. (Also known as the Earl Grey Event Horizon.)

The Law of Material Attraction – A toy may reside untouched in a cupboard for weeks or even months, yet as soon as one child begins to play with it, it becomes the one and only object that all other children in the area desire, right this minute.

The Negative Sleep Equation – The length of time a child stays up at night is inversely related to how late he or she will sleep in the next morning. I.e. A child who goes to bed two hours past his regular bedtime will not sleep in two extra hours in the morning; he will wake a half-hour earlier than usual and be cranky all day.

The Fatigue/Tolerability Coefficient – Similarly, a parent’s sense of humour is inversely related to his or her level of fatigue. I.e. A child’s certain action may be perceived as  “cute” or “funny” at 8 a.m.; however, at 5 p.m., a parent who has already been awake for 12 hours will find that identical action extremely annoying and for the love of all that is decent WOULD YOU PLEASE STOP DOING THAT ALREADY!!!!!!

If you’ve observed other laws at work in your own household, feel free to add them in the comments below.


7 responses to “Family Astrophysics

  1. Love the Negative Sleep Equation. Very true.

    And I’ll add the Law of Grocery Day/Favorite Food Repulsivity.
    Upon discovering a type of food that the child loves and double fists/scarfs down one day, the parent foolishly assumes that the child will eat this type of food the next day. Hence when grocery day comes, the parent stocks up on this food, brings it home for the child, at which that exact moment the food changes it’s chemical make-up to become repulsive to the child’s taste buds. Never fails.

  2. I have no cute name for this but there must be a law which describes what happens when a parent gets on the telephone. All will be peaceful until said parent answers the phone and appears to be enjoying a moment of adult conversation. Portables help, at least you aren’t at the end of the cord capability giving “the eye”, but somehow this act will produce behavior resembling an alien possession.

  3. Then of course there’s the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object which inevitably ends up with you in the children’s emergency room with a kid with a broken arm

  4. As wild as my boys are, we’ve thankfully managed to avoid broken bones so far. Weirdly enough, our only trip to the ER was caused by bubbles, of all things. Xander got too much bubble soap in his eyes one evening and could barely open them the next morning. A good rinse and some saline drops later and he was good to go.

  5. The Law of Washrooms: The longer a child is alone and quiet in the washroom is directly proportional to the cost and length of clean up by the adult.

  6. Pingback: A Father’s Guide to Routine Child Maintenace, Vol. 3 – Bedtime « The Lucas Adventures·

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