beth woolsey

mess maker • magic finder • rule breaker • kindness monger

Happy New KidYear!

Happy New KidYear!
A Lesson in Creative Mathematics
How to Make Myself Feel Better about My Truly Ridiculous Schedule 

My first five years as a parent, I parented one child. And having Just One Child was easy the same way that assembling and baking a pie while suspended upside-down from a 200-foot-tall bridge is easy.* By which I mean, I spent most of my time making a hot, delicious mess while muttering to myself, “What the… ?” and “How the… ?” and “Someone help me. I’m WAY too dizzy to be responsible for this.” And I spent the rest of the time shouting, “The view from here is AWESOME.”

Those first five years I learned, through personal observation and meticulous scientific study – which included approximately one hundred thousand sleepless nights during which I proudly NEVER shook the baby (victory!) – that one kid is a lot of kids.

Which leads me, through the process of mathematical extrapolation to this: If one kid is a lot of kids, and because any number higher than one is more than one (yes, I am a mathematical genius, and thank you for asking), then any number of kids is a lot of kids.

But you know what’s weird about raising more than one kid? The fact that they live their lives concurrently.

Concurrently. Simultaneously. AT THE SAME TIME.

That means that, somehow, while I’m wading through one kid’s life moment by moment, there are four others with moments passing just as swiftly that just as badly need their mama’s attention.

See, when I parented my first kid for five years, this is the amount of time that passed:

1 kid x 5 years = 5 KidYears

And I felt every one of those hot, delicious, messy, awesome years.

But now, as I look back on another year with my five kids, I realize that:

5 kids x 1 year… ALSO EQUALS 5 KidYears

It’s Parenting Condensed; the same amount of kid-living packed into a fifth of the time.

2012 is upon us, and I’ve done the math. I will complete one full KidYear every 73.2 days, which sure makes me feel a lot better about everything I pack into my harried and ridiculous schedule.

Yes. That’s about right; my mama life these days is like eating condensed pie filling straight from the can. Rushed and sticky. But also very, very sweet.

Wishing you and yours a very Happy New KidYear!


(*I write things like this to drive my mathematics- and engineering-minded husband to distraction. I promise you, he’s going through scenarios in his head right now that include ways to run power to a stove that’s suspended from a bridge. He probably started googling solutions, which means he stopped reading way back in the first paragraph, and, as a result, he’s not checking any of my math. Bwahahahaha!)

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10 responses to “Happy New KidYear!”

  1. Oh, dear this is spot-on. I was just thinking today about how much sleep I’ve lost overall, and how it adds to my actual age. I tell people all the time that I’m only 28, but I’m 28 with five kids, so I’m actually waaaaay older.

    ~Kristi at My Cup Runs Over,

  2. Ha ha ha ha! So true! And also, I’ve been telling my hubby about how your family followed the gas expansion law that Greg mentioned and he was glad that our house isn’t any bigger! Oh, and when I tried to explain that gear car that Cory was playing with he wanted a drawn model to see how many gears it would take to make them go the same direction.

    Also, I’ve noticed that while shopping (rarely) with no kids it takes me the same amount of time as it did with kids thus not saving me any time. However, it’s because I’m so thoroughly enjoying the fact that I’m not telling one to “don’t touch” and the other to “please stay where I can see you” and “get up off the disgusting floor” that I take my sweet time! At least I end up less frazzled at the end of the trip even if I haven’t saved any time!

  3. I used to do math like that when running errands.
    2 errands (stops at 2 places, say post office and library) by myself (2 x 1 ) = 2 errands.
    2 errands (stops at 2 places) while toting 3 kids (2 x 3) = energy output of running 6 errands (stopping at 6 places, say post office and library and grocery store and bank and different grocery store and church office).
    And we wonder why we’re so tired all the time.
    Unfortunately, now that I’m back to running errands alone, my body is still conditioned to think that if I’ve stopped 2 places, I’ve expended the energy required for stopping 6 places. I think I’m old.

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