June 11, 2008

The Mathematics of Motherhood

My life as a mom is entirely rooted in algebra. Here is the simple formula:

a= how much it cost

b= how much energy the activity requires of me

c= how much fun the kids have doing it

d= how much time it fills in the day

e= how much clean-up is involved at the end

a-e are rated on a scale of -10 through +10, 10 being a two-thumbs up rating and a -10 being a grumbling mom.
The rule of the formula is that x has to be a positive number.
That explains the love/hate relationship I have with Play-Doh. It fits the formula.
9 (it's cheap) + 0 (requires average energy of me) + 8 (the kids love it) + 10 (they play with it for 2 hours at a time) + -10 (I HATE cleaning it up) = 17 (see, unfortunately, I can't turn it down)

Sandboxes come in with about the same numbers. Same thing with the pool, although it ranks -10 for mom's energy and clean up time, it leans to the right with a +10 for time, fun and cheap. We just tried Hersheypark with the kids. Disappointing as it may be, it doesn't fit. Expensive, high parental energy requirement and the kids pooped out so quickly that x= (-) Popsicles on a sunny day were an extreme negative until I found something wonderful. . .

Now popsicles come out in the + again.

So there you have it, the motive behind everything I do as a mom. When I find things that fit the formula, I'll pass them onto to you moms out there. Here is the latest thing the kids did today that passed my math test:

Even the simplest of activities can be "formula worthy". I grabbed three of those free Auto-Mart magazines as I was leaving the grocery store the other day. I drew a "road" on butcher paper and gave each of the kids a pair of scissors and a glue stick and away they went snipping "traffic" out of the magazine to glue on their road. Amazing. It fit the formula gloriously.

10 (free) + 10 (required practically nothing of me) + 9 (the kids loved it) + 9 (it took them over an hour) + 9 (hardly any clean-up)=

Can you believe something as silly as this gets a 47!