January 4, 2013

My Daughters, Preachers Of The Doctrine Of Half

The reason that scientists are able to determine the age of fossils is through the process of radiocarbon dating.  In this process, scientists estimate how much of the unstable isotope carbon 14 should be in a sample based on atmosphere and type of material and compare it with the amount that it actually contains.  Carbon 14 has a half life of approximately 5730 years, give or take 40.  This means that every 5730 years, half of the carbon 14 in a sample will have decayed away.

Parenting is a kind of half life.  Some of this is anticipated, such as the idea that once there are children in the house, the amount of sleep you are able to get decays to about half.  A previous solid 8 hours of sleep will decay to 4 in just the 9 short months between conception and birth.  I realize this is not the perfect analogy because in another 9 months, it will decay to 2 hours.  This is fairly accurate, but not exact.

Other half life aspects could be anticipated if one sat down to think about them.

At dinner, instead of finishing an entire warm meal, a parent will often only consume half of a warm meal, spending much of the time getting up to get napkins, find juice bottles, refill plate for children, return said children to the table, take crayons out of the hands of said children, getting tissues to wipe the noses of said children after said children have a particularly horrendous sneeze giving themselves a nose-based snotbeard that resembles something you would wear to a mucus-themed costume party if you were dressed as Jack Sparrow.
The beads at the bottom would be peas and corn.

By the time you return to the table to finish the second half of your meal, the warm butter has congealed and reminds you enough of your child's recent bout with facial "hair" that you decide not to eat it any more.

A parent is able to watch half of a television show.  What was the final clue that allowed Vince D'onofrio to catch the serial rapist and explain the plan in condescending, quiet disgust?  YOU'LL NEVER KNOW!  Your child needs help with putting diaper cream on her baby-doll.

A parent is able to make half of a recipe because half of the ingredients have gone bad sitting in a fake kitchen and half of the needed utensils are scattered throughout the house.  As much as I love a good scavenger hunt, I usually prefer the prize to be something better than a potato masher.

This meal was prepared entirely with a lighter and two forks!

A parent is able to complete half of the yard work before one of the tiny people in their charge decide they would like to play a game of "Will this fit in my mouth?" or "I can run faster than this car!"

What I never anticipated, what I never even considered, was that my half life would extend to the bathroom.

To clarify, I fully expected that there would be times when I would have to run out of the shower, shampoo still in my luxurious hair, water dripping down my chiseled abs, over my rock hard thighs to leave puddles on the floor as I chased a towel-thief naked through the house.  I haven't experienced those times yet, but I try to hit the gym regularly so that I might soon.

What I did not expect, however, was the feeling of being forced to stop mid-defecation because someone was either screaming in pain, or yelling that if I did not vacate the bathroom in the next 8 seconds, there was going to be a worse mess than I was prepared to clean.

Apparently, wanting to have a complete poop is too much to ask for.



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