Toddler Math & Science

People who got the math gene say they like math because it is concrete, quantifiable and constant.

2+2= 4

Never changes.

It’s not full of variables like language.

Well, I am not naturally good at math. But as a parent of a toddler, I disagree that numbers are concrete and constant. Or there must be one of those special math laws for toddlers.

Here are some examples of the

Toddler Rule of Exception

All equal numbers are not equal: Two hours of sleep deprivation for Little Sir does not equal two hours of sleep deprivation for me. He sleeps 20 minutes later and I need eight cups of coffee.

It’s all variable: Two quick errands with one quick two year old is not fairly represented. Adjustments are necessary to gauge the reality of that experience fairly: Before nap time or after? Near meal time? Will the toddler be loose or in a cart for said errands? Will strangers try to engage or let him engage first?

Measurement is a sliding scale: The volume of bath water in the tub seems to double as a toddler splashes it out of the tub. The amount of food in a plate triples as it is flung on the floor.The volume a diaper can hold is directly proportionate to if you accidentally leave the house without a spare  (or if a friend is holding him in her lap).

Time: The passage of time is not the same. The 24 hour day and 365 day year are different through the lens of parenting. We all know this, “It goes so fast,” people say as they look adoringly at my angel.

Well, I can tell you that time goes very slow when that angel is screaming in my ear at a decibel known to shatter glass. It also passes slowly as he is sick and I’m told to wait the fever out for 72 hours.

It also goes very fast when he’s taking a nap and I have a long list of things to accomplish before he wakes up.

And yes, it also goes fast when you’re holding a swaddled bit of perfection to just two years later when you’re chasing him down the driveway. Or nineteen years later when she lives in another state and you don’t get to take her picture on the first day of school anymore.

But then again, if asked to remember life before kids, I really struggle. I had a life before kids? Or is that when I really started living? Haven’t I always been Mama? Haven’t these kids always been here?