Thursday, February 17, 2011

Everything I Learned, I Learned in Kindergarten...and Then Re-learned as a Mom!

Mathematics 101:  Long ago, in my kindergarten class, I learned that 1+1=2.  In my family, the Math of Motherhood has taught me 1+1 equals 8; 8 very different characters.  Even though the denominators are the same, all 6 of my little additions are totally different.  Somehow, it just doesn't seem to add up.

In my physics class, math was a big deal.  Einstein's energy equation, E=MC2, was the focus for a whole term as we studied the energy and mass relationship.  In my house, this relationship doesn't seem to exist.  My energy equals the hours of sleep I get minus the number of times I get up to comfort a child, give out cough medicine, pull up covers, tell one more story, or plug in the binky, one more time.  Take this number and divide it by the number of squats I did picking up the baby and her bottle, bends I did changing the laundry, hurdles I jumped avoiding misplaced toys, and stretches I made scrubbing tubs and showers.  With all of those variables, my calculation is fairly inaccurate, at best.

Although mathematicians claim pi=3.14, I have found it to equal quite a different number.  My pie equals two chairs pulled around the counter, with 2 kids on each one, 2 more leaning in from the opposite side, 60 fingers reaching in to taste the pie crust dough, and 3 cans of cherry pie filling, (because too many cherries were picked out of the first 2 cans waiting to be poured into the crust.)  After 75 minutes to cook, (taking into account the time the kids took to mold their individual pieces of dough into snakes, eggs, puppies, and elephants,) my numbers are almost incalculable.

Here's a story problem for you: if it takes 20 minutes to put a pie together, 35 minutes to cook it with tin foil around the edges to prevent burning, 15 minutes more to brown the crust after removing the tin foil, and 15 minutes to let the pie cool after you remove it from the oven, how long does it take eight people to eat the pie?  ( For all you moms, the answer is a piece of cake to figure out.)  Answer: 4 minutes and 28 seconds.

Motherhood has changed how I understand the mathematical concept of telling time, even.  When you put the big hand on the 12, it doesn't matter where the little hand is, it's time to eat.  When one of the kids say "just a second," I know it will probably be closer to 5 to 10 minutes.  And when I have to be somewhere at a certain time, I have to plan on leaving 1/2 hour early, just to get there 7 minutes late.

As I lay in bed, counting undone chores, instead of sheep, I realize that the number of times I have to search for misplaced pajamas is always too many, while the number of times I hear "I love you" as 6 kids head off to bed every night, will never be enough.  The number of times I have to yell, "Get in bed!" is always too many, while the hugs and kisses my kids shower me with, (usually to avoid getting in bed,) is never enough.

Maybe it does add up!

1 comment:

  1. It's so true. It takes me a long time to cook anything and pick up the house, and I only have one. But like you said, it's worth it!


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