Archimedes’ Principle

Feb 3 2011

Cai and Cael, our 4-year-old twin boys, took a bath tonight.

Cai accused me of overfilling the tub because the water ran out of the overflow drain when he got in.

I did overfill the tub, but I don’t like being wrong a whole lot (read: at all).

So I thought I ought to correct Cai’s idea of my wrongness.  Because I’m mature that way.

I explained the law of water displacement.

See, Cai, when you got in the tub, the water level rose.  Your body displaced the water and made it go down the overflow drain.  If you stand up, you’ll see that the water level is just right.

Cai and Cael loved the idea… and especially the execution… of water displacement.  Thus began a full 1/2 hour of sitting and standing.  Sitting and standing.  Checking the water level, aaaannnnddd… sitting and standing.

Of course, Greg, my husband, who regularly and effortlessly (and not at all maliciously, I might add, since he can’t seem to help himself) shows up my intellect, taught the boys to say, “Archimedes’ Principle.”

Granted, Cai thought it was pronounced the “Why Are You Making Us Principle”… the discovery of which will probably turn out to be my family’s largest contribution to science…

But Cael was totally on top of the Archimedes’ Principle.

Every time he stood up, Cael would say, “Look at my Archimedes’ Principle!”

And every time Cai stood up, Cael would say,  “Look at Cai’s Archimedes’ Principle!”

Apparently, Archimedes is the guy who discovered the whole water displacement thing in the first place.  I looked it up on Wikipedia later, but by the time I got done reading all of the nuances of whether an object is floating or sunken, whether Archimedes appropriately accounted for surface tension (he didn’t), and started seeing formulas like this…  mathbf{f}+operatorname{div},sigma=0

…I was done.  Done, I tell you.

I know all I ever wanted to know about Archimedes’ Principle.

Which is why I was a little disturbed later tonight when I rose from my own bath only to discover two little 4-year-olds quietly observing me…

Quiet, that is, until Cael shouted

Wow!  Look at Mommy’s Archimedes’ Principle!  That’s the biggest Archimedes’ Principle I ever saw!

I think I’ll go eat a cupcake.

Good night.  I’ll write again when my ego has recovered.

Beth