Sir Isaac Newton certainly got some things right when he defined the laws of motion, but I’d like to point out a field he overlooked: classical baby physics. I have a law or two I’d like to tack on to the Principia.
Your desire for a baby to avoid an object is inversely proportional to his attraction to that object.
We have one room in our three-ish room apartment that is mostly babyproof, our living room. A couple of exceptions in here are the TV tray rack and the entertainment center. These objects occupy maybe 15 square feet in a room that must be at least 150 square feet. This is 10% of the room. Del spends 75% of his time trying to climb both of these things. What else is in this room? A couch he can pull himself up on/eat the blanket covering it. A dog bed. Drawers with his clothes. Shelves of DVDs. Dog steps he can climb over and under and flip upside down. Every single toy he owns. Instead, he chooses to spend his time trying to grab cords and push buttons and climb TVs and pull himself up on the arms of the TV tray rack which are right at eye height so that he can slip and fall directly onto the wooden feet of same rack. I no longer lift weights. I just get about 100 reps of picking him up and moving him away from these things.
Real talk: we have furniture straps for the entertainment center and TV. It’s getting secured. The TV tray rack however will forever be a wooden torture device ready to capture my son in its pointy arms. My kingdom for a real table.
The degree of importance of your daily schedule is inversely proportional to your baby’s ability to maintain that schedule.
Some time around the second or third month, Amy and I stopped making plans in front of Del. “He should wake up in the next 20 minutes, so we can take a walk at 4 and he’ll get his third nap in.” He would sleep for another hour and a half, and the attempted walking nap would result in him falling asleep just as we returned to our stoop, prompting us to take another couple laps around the neighborhood just so he’d be able to make it til bedtime.
I know he couldn’t understand us. He still can’t. I’m one of the most rational people I know. He’s eight months old and I don’t discuss my plans in front of him.
And finally, one that’s a little more up Einstein’s alley:
As the amount of things you need to do increases, the time in which you can do them decreases.
The other day I needed to do two things: make a cup of coffee and pay a bill online. It took me over 30 minutes to finally finish them both. It went something like this:
Grind the coffee beans (what’s Del doing oh he’s just sitting in the middle of the room playing with a toy) set up the coffee maker (now it’s quiet oh no he’s going for the TV trays I think I can get this onto the stove before he makes it) put the coffee maker on the stove–I use a moka pot (open the baby gate grab him bring him to the other side of the room here play with all this stuff for a second) put some milk on the stove for your latte (no Del don’t climb the doggie steps you’ll just fall off here play with your car!) crap the milk got too hot stick it in the fridge for a second (oh buddy did you bump your head it’s OK here let’s dance for a minute) pour the coffee & milk into a mug and sit down for a second wait this tastes weird oh I forgot the sugar (no Del you can’t grab my mug it’s too hot but look it’s got Yoda on it!) go back and put sugar in there and sit back down and space out for about 20 seconds wait was I supposed to do something on the computer oh right (no Del you can’t grab the cord here sit over here no you can’t push the keys I know it’s so tempting) hey I got an email what was I doing on here again oh right bill and PAID.
When we took a road trip down south I started getting ready two days in advance and it still felt like a scramble to get everything ready on time. I think if parents are going to make everything work we need to move at relativistic speeds and take advantage of the time dilation.
Colin Fisher is many things to many people, but mostly he’s an actor and writer.