Repost: Laws of Motion, Child Sized Version

(repost, as in “to post again,” not as in “offensive follow-up to a parry,” of musings from February 2009)

First Law: net inertia. Subjects at rest tend to stay at rest until you settle in. Then they spring into action, usually of the death-defying (or at least social-convention-defying) sort. Conversely, subjects in motion will tend to stay in motion until such time as you enjoy their motion. Then they will stop.

Second Law: F=ma. The relationship between the force needed to cajole a small person into even the most pleasant task is Force=(minutes needed to perform task without small children)x(age, in years, you feel after the task is complete). Exempli gratia, force required to put on child’s shoes=(.25)x(57)=14. Units may vary. 14 minutes, 14 different techniques, 14 different pair before they finally agree to leave one on, 14 threats to leave without said child if they don’t put on their flipping shoes NOW…

Third Law: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. You get dressed, they glitter paint the cat. You prepare breakfast, they remove all the tape flags from your research books. You strike up a conversation with the clerk at the market, they strip down naked and run away laughing.

You don’t see how those are equal and opposite? You must possess logic and reason, then. Ah. You must not have children.

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Bigger than the sun.

“Mommy? If you attached our car to Daddy’s truck and attached Daddy’s truck to our house and attached our house to grandma’s house and attached grandma’s house to Jupiter and attached Jupiter to Saturn and attached Saturn to the sun…I love you bigger than that.”

Damn. That’s a lot of love, boy.

I’ll wait until you’re bigger to tell you I love you infinity plus one.

Also, the Sun so completely dwarfs all those other objects that it’s silly to waste all the breath attaching them when you could shortcut with “I love you bigger than the Sun” and be done with it. But I won’t tell you that, because who doesn’t need that tiny, wee bit of bonus, Jupiter-sized love? Great Atlas-buoyed heavens, I know I do.