Sunday, April 8, 2012

Newton's Third Law of Motion

Newton's Third Law of Motion says that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. I know this because I looked it up on Wikipedia. I opted out of Physics my Senior year of high school in order to take... (wait for it)... Finishing Class. Only at a southern boarding school can you receive credits for a class whose syllabus includes things like getting out of a car without showing your underpants and walking with a book on your head. There are pictures of this somewhere- me walking around a gymnasium in a purple plaid skirt down to my ankles with a book on my head.

This Third Law of Motion is the reality that has been the defining quality of my life the past two weeks. For every mess cleaned up, diaper changed and instruction given- there is an equal and opposite mess made, dirty diaper created and instruction defied. Here are some classic examples of Newton's Law of Motion going on:

1. On Thursday while I was trying to clean up the house in preparation for a weekend of house guests, I noticed some laundry detergent had spilled on top of the dryer. No big deal- a small puddle and a quick wipe with a dirty t-shirt from the hamper cleaned it right up. While I was performing this 3 second wipe, Pursy came up behind me and pulled the entire bottle of detergent off the shelf- spilling almost half of its contents on the laundry room floor. Third Law of Motion.

2. Potty training has casually begun at Chez Martsolf, and while we are not doing any formal routines or making her wear "big girl underwear", Pursy has been peeing fairly regularly and enjoying doing it on her own. One of her favorite parts- other then watching me do the potty dance- is the gummy bear she gets after every successful potty episode. Today she kept asking for "gummies" and after being told a dozen times that she only gets them after she goes pee on the potty, she seemingly gave up. I was in Knox's room putting away the clothes he has already grown out of, when I noticed I hadn't heard from her in a few minutes. She didn't answer me when I called her- multiple times. I was just starting to get nervous when I heard a muffled "Hi Mama!" from our bathroom. I walked in and found her sitting IN the sink, buck naked, with a mouthful of gummies, the empty bag next to her. She flashed me a huge smile- sugary sparkly goo mocking my prior denial of her request for candy. Third Law of Motion.

3. I like a glass of water before I go to bed. Usually I finish it before I go to sleep, but on Tuesday night I left about half of it undrunk. With an almost two year old who has a habit of wandering into our bedroom before the sun comes up, I should have put the glass up. In a drowsy early morning haze I heard Pursy say: "Pursy do it self" and I saw her take a drink of water. I mumbled something about being careful with the glass- before the words left my mouth I felt a wave of lukewarm water hit my back. Instantly awake and swimming in the half glass of water now soaking its way into the sheets, I watched her very carefully return the glass to the table. Third Law of Motion.

This is my life- seemingly small or benign actions result in equal and opposite reactions- usually requiring an enormous amount of time to fix or clean up. Dammit, Newton. But when all hope of getting ahead seems lost, at least I can always get out of a car modestly and walk a length of hallway with perfect posture.

Publishing a blurry picture so you aren't treated to a perfectly clear image of a pair of my underwear doing double duty as a necklace on my daily bringer of the Third Law of Motion.

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