Thursday, October 17, 2013

Richter Scale





 I have five kids.

Five.

And I'm crazy enough to want more, but that's another topic for another day.

Anyway, having one kid was super hard.

I didn't know what I was doing, but for sure and certain, that baby got washed every day, rain or shine, dirty or not dirty. Joshua was one clean baby.

Which is ironic since when I tell him to take a shower now he asks with a great deal of incredulity, "Why?"

We waited a long time before having another child, since one was so hard, and we purposefully had Eva (our only on-purpose child...everyone else just flung themselves from Heaven like lemmings).

Suddenly everything that was hard with just Josh was infinitely harder with Eva. I seriously had guilt that she wasn't as squeaky clean as Joshua had been as a baby, and I knew somebody somewhere was watching me an judging me for my "unclean" children, who got baths most days of the week.

It only got worse the more children came.

In my defense, however, it's not like we live on a farm, and the children do manual labor to keep the farm going (although I have had many fantasies about doing just that, because hard work is food for the soul, and cow manure is good for the sinuses). My children benignly play with toys, and the messiest thing they do is play with water. I actually make more messes than they do, and frequently scan my body in alarm since I manage to get myself covered in mysterious substances throughout the day, but have learned that licking these is not always a good idea (once burned, twice warned).


Richter was onto something. He must have been a parent.

I'm sure his creation of the now-famous Richter Scale were inspired by his own observations in his cozy family room. He noted that one child playing alone was only mildly jarring to the adult senses. When another child entered the room, the noise and tension magnified not by two, which would seem rational, but by ten! And as he gripped the evening paper in his white-knuckled hands, mashing the newsprint into oblivion as his three children stirred up enough mayhem and chaos for 100 little people, the light bulb turned on over his head, illuminating his being. And as he snapped at little Jimmy to stop playing with the light switches, another light bulb went off over his head, but this time a metaphorical one. That is when Charles decided that he was done having children.

(Just kidding. I don't know how many kids he had.)

So, if we go by Richter's scale, and each child magnifies whatever it is they inherently are by ten, then instead of having five kids, I have 10,000.

That seems about right. And, I'm sorry, I'm not bathing 10,000 child energies more than twice a week if I can help it.

Emily often comments when our children play that when one child (typically Josh) leaves the writhing mass of arms and legs that constantly fills up the playroom, things are exponentially quieter.

It's because instead of there being one million child energies in the room, there are now one hundred thousand. And as anybody who has read "Emma" or been to a large church gathering can attest, "Small parties really are the best." (Thank you, Mr. Elton, for that illuminating concept.)

I think I should patent my own scale. The Card Scale. Or, better yet, the Dara Scale. Or maybe, the CaRichter Scale. RiCard Scale. RiCarScalD. Or RiCardo Scaliente: an interpretive latin dance.

And then I'll write a paper and send it to scientific journals entitled, "An extensive and conclusive study into the exponential energy production and high frequency vibrations by factors of ten in immature humans and their effect on the mature human psyche, brain function, and tympanic membrane."

Yes, I think so...

I'd read it. 

2 comments:

Katscratchme said...

Hahah! You need to start writing again. Your style gives me such joy. :D

Trillium said...

Good Morning America had a mommy on recently who admitted that she only bathed her baby once a week. Americans far and wide were appalled and were labeling her a negligent mother. The family pediatrician, however, said maybe two baths per week is actually sufficient. More than that and the baby gets dry skin and rashes.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...