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## Jane Roper

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Jane Roper is the author of the memoir Double Time: How I Survived–and Mostly Thrived–Through the First Three Years of Mothering Twins and blogger at JaneRoper.com. Her writing has appeared on Babble, Salon, The Huffington Post, The Rumpus, and the upcoming anthology The Push: Birth Stories for the 21st Century. Jane lives in the Boston area with her husband and twin daughters.

# The Preschool Laws of Physics

By Jane Roper |

1. The velocity with which a preschooler gets in and out of the car is inversely proportional to how many minutes late you are running. Ex.: If you are running five minutes late for preschool, your child will get out of the car at the pace of an arthritic, 93-year-old woman. If you are running ten minutes late for preschool, she will get out of the car at the pace of a three-toed sloth.

2. For every time you ask a preschooler to get dressed, she will keep her clothes on with equal, opposing force.

Corollary to Rule 2: If your preschooler is already undressed, the force of resistance to getting clothes on is multiplied by a factor of x, wherein x represents the number of times you have asked.

3. The rate of dispersion of toys across your house in one day is the number of toys times how tired you are at the end of the day on a scale of one to five, where one equals “very” and five equals “comatose.”

4. The adhesive strength of Elmer’s glue (or generic equivalent) on craft projects is diminished by a factor of ∏ (pi) once it passes the threshold of your home. It is diminished by ∏ x 17 when glitter is involved.

5. The decibel level at which your preschooler must speak/yell is greater than that of his/her sibling by a factor of four, leading to an exponential increase of total decibel volume at a rate of s(θ + υ), or  shut(the hell up).

6. The time it takes to get two preschoolers to do anything is 2.5 times the amount of time it takes to get one to do the same thing. Ergo, the elasticity of the skin under and around the eyes of a mother of two children under six diminishes at a rate of 2.5 times that of a mother of one.

What laws am I missing?

PS — There’s another chance to win a free copy of EDEN LAKE over at She Is Too Fond of Books. And, good news, the price of the book on Amazon has been discounted to \$10.80. (And the Kindle version is now just \$6.39.)

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Jane Roper

Jane Roper is the author of the memoir Double Time: How I Survived–and Mostly Thrived–Through the First Three Years of Mothering Twins and blogger at JaneRoper.com. Jane lives in the Boston area with her husband and twin daughters.

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## 13 thoughts on “The Preschool Laws of Physics”

1. Rosstwinmom says:

Let me first add an example to number one–If you are 30 minutes late, your child will walk so slowly down the stairs that time will actually stand still. But only in your stairwell. Elsewhere it speeds up.

The Law of Quiet: If you let your kids keep doing what they are doing that is producing quiet, know that each minute spent blissing out on silence, equals five minutes sweeping up moon dough(evil, of the devil), unmixing 7 colors of play dough, and trying to hide the supposed washable red watercolor sprayed on your wall like a crime scene.

http://amazingsurvivormom.blogspot.com/

2. lenabena says:

oh jane. you are so good at science.

here’s one: the tenacity of the tantrum is often directly proportional to the smallness of mommy’s offense (constant: everything that goes wrong is mommy’s fault). example: she wanted to turn off the tv and i did it instead? 1/2 hour tantrum, plus tears and boogers because do-overs are not allowed.

The percolation of a colored substance into the pre-schooler’s skin is inversely proportional to the number of hours since a bath. In other words, the marker that the child gets a hold of while their hair is still wet will always be indelible or permanent marker; moments before a bath, it will be 100% washable.

4. Michele says:

Laughing too hard to add anything. Great post!

5. Rosstwinmom says:

I just experienced a corollary to rule 5. The more ridiculous the information is, the louder it must be told. When they slip into just saying random verbs and nouns in no particular order the volume will make your ears bleed.

6. Tracy Hahn-Burkett says:

Like the universe itself, the question “Why?” is infinite. It can never be answered satisfactorily and every effort to do so will only result in exponentional expansion of the question.

Also, one universal constant known to every preschooler is that a Band-aid and a Mommy-kiss really can heal a boo-boo. Everybody knows this, but it still blows me away every time I see it work.

7. Polly says:

The centrifugal force of bike wheels is directly proportional to the presence of a child’s helmet. The absence of a helmet decreases proportional rate of balance three-fold. In other words, the one time he forgets to put on helmet and you don’t make a big deal of it, he falls and hits his head.

8. Cindy says:

Sing it Sisters – you all have nailed this!

9. Tia says:

The danger-safety ratio. The more times you ask a preschool child to stop an activity because it is unsafe, the more times they will attempt said verboten activity. Example: Preschooler is attempting to climb into the duck pond at the park, to better give the ducks some tasty goldfish crackers (this started when you said that ducks won’t eat from his hand). Mommy says “Please stay on the edge of the pond! It isn’t safe to get in there” and the preschooler tries harder. Unless you physically step in, your preschooler will be in the pond by the 5th time you ask.

10. April says:

These are great and so hilarious! I can say AMEN to the going slower when you are in a hurry and how long it takes to get out the door. I am a horrible mommy because I don’t teach mine how to dress themselves or put their own shoes on etc really because it would only further complicate and make the getting out the door process longer as they try to do it themselves and I just can’t mentally take that! Right now we are at about 20 minutes from zero not dressed at all to pulling out of the driveway if they cooperate. If they don’t cooperate mommy’s pissed off level increases by 2x for every 2 more minutes they don’t listen to me or dawdle to it gets where mommy goes from happy to uberpissed in 10 minutes or less.

Also Amen to Lenabena’s about the severity of the tantrum in relation to the small act that mommy did to cause such a massive tantrum.

I have one: The law of odds is that no matter what movie one will pick to watch the other one will throw a tantrum about that movie being picked…even if it is a movie they both enjoy. We have been struggling with this one a lot lately!

Another one: the more effort I put into cooking a meal the less likely any of it is going to be eaten by said kids. I think the formula is for every 5 minutes over 15 minutes I spend making the meal they chance of them eating much of it decreases by 1/5.

11. April says:

Oh yeah one more probably specifically to my Harrison- the longer he carries around a toy magazine or toy advertisement or some kind of paper thing he is in love with because of said pictures on it-the more tape that must be applied to said paper over time. If it gets ripped or wrinkled or he imagines any such offense comes to the paper item he will demand more and more tape be applied to item and increasingly get more hysterical after each such offense where tape will need to be applied. His current paper obsession is a Thomas the train insert that comes with the toys that shows all the Thomas trains and sets you can buy.

12. Lena says:

Hallelujah! YES to all of these. Jane, your laws are HILARIOUS and your readers are absolute geniuses with all of the additions. I’m seriously in awe.

13. Rosana says:

HA!!! Very funny