As a beloved old TV show was fond of repeating, “you cannot change the laws of physics”. And just as science recognises there are simply some absolute truths of the world, we all know there are strict laws that govern children and parents.
And you don’t need a PhD in Parenting to know how true these laws are:
The Dawdling Principle
No matter how early you plan to leave for an event, the time allowed will be taken up by children dawdling. At this stage I could be ready to leave a full 24 hours before dance classes (which are held literally 400 metres from my house) and the girls would find a way to ensure we burst in just as they’re closing the doors. Yet again.
The laws of physics do not always seem to apply to children. For example their stomach is quite small physically but apparently capable of eating every chocolate or packet of chips in existence. We joke about dessert stomachs. Kids, like cows, have multiple stomachs and they’re ALL dessert stomachs.
The Principle of Uncertainty
In science, the Heisenberg Principle of Uncertainty tells us you can know the position of a particle OR its velocity but not both. In parenting, the Sherratt Principle of Uncertainty states you can either hear exactly what your kids are doing OR paranoia creeps up on you because you CAN’T hear what your kids are doing.
A little-known condition where toddlers’ hearing is distorted. ‘Toddler’s ear’ manifests by changing the meaning of our speech. For example I say “No” and they hear “ask me again in ten seconds”. See also ‘Husband’s Ear’ where the patient suffers temporary sporadic deafness dependent on situations.
IMP (Infant Magnetic Pulse)
Children under the age of 5 regularly emit a magnetic pulse of attraction. Curiously it’s only triggered when they have new and/or expensive clothes on, and instead of metal they attract dirt, mud, food and all other things messy. The effect can be reduced, if not totally eliminated, by dressing them in cheap or hand-me-down clothes.
Situationally Horrific Infantile Tantrums (note the acronym)
It’s an absolute truth that no matter how well behaved your children have been, the moment you step into public the likelihood of them throwing a loud tantrum increases exponentially. Studies conducted on the subject conclusively showed that “it was impossible to get any work done with all these damn kids crying and screaming in the scientific facility”.
The Lyon Poo Principle
Bowel movements are intrinsically linked to travel plans. It’s true: your kids won’t need to poo until you’re just about to leave or have just left. Similarly, they will often wait until you’ve struggled to get that complicated one-piece snowsuit/ballet outfit on before declaring they need to go. 25% of our time in Copenhagen was dressing, undressing and re-dressing the girls before snowplay.
The communication correlation
Child volume inevitably increases whenever you’re on a phone call. As does the likelihood of tantrums, fights and all-out riots. Interestingly, the more important the phone call, the greater the likelihood of intense cacophony.