Archimedes’ Principle

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.


ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
  1. Try Achenimedes read aloud by Jim Weiss, the running out of the bath into tge King’s presence when Archenmedies discovered his principle will have your kids and you laughing. Highly recommend anything by Jim Weiss.

  2. […] Archimedes’ Principle by Five Kids is A lot of Kids […]

  3. That is so hilarious. Love your blog 🙂

  4. AAnnnd this is why I love reading your blog! Note to myself- don’t teach my boys about the Archimedes’ Principle….

  5. Would it help if I told you that your Archimedes Principle is the biggest in terms of volume, and not weight?

    It wouldn’t? Are you sure? OK, I won’t say that then. Nope, not me. I’m officially silent on the matter.


    1. This is precisely why I always hoped Janae would have a sister, and why her having 2 brothers makes me very, very nervous. 😉

      1. I think your nervousness is well-founded, Kim. Because I’m pretty sure Jeff just said I’m only fat by volume, not by weight. Be afraid, Jeff. Be very afraid.


  6. My son told me I needed to cover up the gray, because I’m starting to look like an old lady. But he means well.

  7. OMGosh!!!!!! That is so funny. Don’t you just LOVE kids honesty sometimes 😉 Don’t feel too bad. I’m pretty sure I displace a bit of water myself (ok read a LOT of water) =)

  8. Do you think that Archimedes knew Aphrodite? I think you may have stumbled upon his scientific method!

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