Ever wondered how science is related to parenting? I did recently. I was observing how a mother at a park was incessantly picking up a toy that a toddler was throwing from the slide.
He would get on top, throw the toy down (rather than sliding it) and then would slide down. Needless to say he was thoroughly amused. And needless to say the mother was reaching a tipping point.
And then I remembered how my now 7 year old used to love pulling out books and CD’s from our bookshelf and smash them on the floor. I would stack them again and she would pull them all out as many times I would put them back. It was as if she was out there to just irritate me. And then when I would stop stacking them back, it seemed to be no fun for her. She would then venture to newer organized spaces of the house in desperate hopes of destruction. To her it was play and I for once hoped gravity would cease to exist.
And then I read this – Young children…play to learn about the world. Why aren’t we amused when our toddler drops her food off the high chair for the hundredth time? Because we know about gravity (and we have to clean up). She, however, is extremely amused, because everything about the universe is new and interesting and open to playful discovery. Including the funny faces and noises we make trying to get her to stop.
It was a revelation. It made me look at such incidences differently and rather than getting irritated I started to find humour in this journey of parenting. And since I am from the scientific background it became the case of science meets humour meets parenting, such as:
Newton’s laws of Motion:
1st law: An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
And so as far as parenting is concerned
Object : Your child in front of a T.V with a full plate of dinner that is untouched
Unbalanced force: You with a remote control threatening to turn it off
2nd law: Force= Mass X Acceleration. In other words the greater the mass the greater the force needed to accelerate it.
And so with us parents
Mass= Vegetables, studies, homework, clean up, doctor visits and anything that requires the most amount of Force to get it done.
3rd law: For every action there is equal and opposite reaction
This law comes into immediate force when we utter the words, “NO, STOP IT, DON’T DO THAT” and the list goes on. Because to our little one NO means YES, STOP IT means JUST DO IT.
Archimedes Principle: I think Archimedes forgot about kids when he postulated this one. Because every child that gets into a tub of water obviously displaces all the water in that tub all over the floor despite his/her weight.
I mean where’s the fun in bath time if water is not splashed all over the floor and the ceiling and while Archimedes screamed “Eureka” mommy is screaming “Dey u reka?” (Shall I give you one in Marathi).
Source: How to Be A Dad
Newton’s Law of Gravitation: Every mass exerts an attractive force on every other mass.
And so no wonder everywhere we go with our children, they are immediately attracted to the toys, chocolates, chips, cookies, cake and ice-cream because according to Newton, these objects are also exerting an attractive force on our children. And we thought our children were being bad. Tch Tch!
Law of Resistance: This law states that resistance R is directly proportional to the nature of its material.
Mealtime best exemplifies this law. The nature of the food product will be directly related to the amount of resistance it is met with your little one. Happy feeding.
Einstein’s Theory of Relativity: E (energy) =M (mass) C (speed of light) ^2
Parents Theory of Relativity: E (excitement) = M (me time) C (speed of baby falling asleep) ^2
Yep, every parent’s excitement is directly proportional to me time which obviously is highly dependent on how quickly the baby falls asleep.
Well of course since this is theory of relativity, it may vary for each one, but I stand by my version.
The Perpendicular Axis Theorem: Whatever the heck it means in real world, in the parents world all it means is that no matter how much space a child is given on the bed, if you are sleeping next to him, he will always chose to sleep perpendicular to you. This also means you are dangling on the edge of the bed.
Source: How to Be A Dad
Proportionality Theorem: It has something to do with triangles they say. But picture this:
You call out to your child for the 10th time with no response. Then you say ice-cream and suddenly they come storming towards you. This is how I understand the proportionality theorem; the speed at which they will respond is directly proportional to what they want to hear, in this case, it is ice-cream.
The Big Bang(Mess) Theory: So it talks about how this universe came into existence. From a tiny particle to this big wonderful world.
In our world, while we are chit chatting away on the phone, and the baby is quietly playing in another room (apparently), the eerie silence is our version of the big bang (read mess) theory. From one tiny toy to toys spread all over is what awaits our world.
The Evolution Theory: In observing monkeys and their evolution to humans (which is highly controversial) Darwin theorized that humans evolved from monkeys. But had he observed human babies (like we parents do) his corollary would state that “Although humans have evolved from monkeys, many a times as especially observed in humans between the ages 3-??, the reverse is also highly probable.
Like how many times do we have to say “Bandaron jaisi kartoote band karo.”
So essentially, all that I learnt about chemistry, physics and science in general during my college days is now finally being understood and put to practice as I try to convince my 6 year old to be careful when jumping off a monkey bar, as we are not on the moon and when gravity hits, it can hit pretty hard.
PS: Hope all my scientific friends out there can throw some more theories and have a laugh or two in this journey of parenthood.
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