Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Law

I have recently discovered a new Law. The impact this law has is enormous and should be considered in the same realm as the laws of physics and gravity. If you have children you will undoubtedly be effected by this law though you may not know that it has a name.

The law I'm referring to is the Law of Diminishing Utencils. In order to understand how this law works, let me explain first Johnson's First Law of Excessive Utencil Usage which states: A child will use utencils in direct porportion to the number of utencils owned multipled by 5. Allow me to explain...

You buy utencils enough to service 12 people. That's 12 spoons, 12 larger spoons, 12 forks, 12 larger forks, and 12 knives, plus 12 bowls, and 12 plates. That's 84 pieces of serving hardware. Right. Add to that enough cups to serve 23 people and you have 107 total pieces of serving hardware. Now, add to the equation 4 children. Given the current number of serving pieces, that's 29.75pieces of silverware/cups/plates etc. per child. A parent with children will tell you that 26.75 pieces of silverware/cups/plates per child is not enough. Why?

I once did an experiment at my house to determine the answer to that question. At 8am all the silverware was in the drawer and all the cups and bowls, etc. were in the cupboard. (this was when we had 83 pieces of silverware, more on that later). For Breakfast, the kids all ate cereal. Normally this would be 4 spoons, 4 bowls, 4 cups right? Wrong. Marcus used two spoons and the other kids didn't use their spoons at all but threw them in the sink anyway so technically that counted as being used. Then they all went for seconds, but realizing they had already put their bowls and spoons and cups in the sink got more. Add to that 1 more cup. 4 to be used for milk, and one more for Parker who doesn't like to mix milk and water. Breakfast total: 26.

Between 8 and 12, another 9 cups went in the sink because each child got two drinks and Parker had 3: 2 waters, one milk. Lunch time brought out 5 plates, 4 forks, and 4 cups. Marcus knocked his first plate on the ground. Snack/Lunch Total: 23

At some point between 12 and 5pm the last 5 cups got used along with 6 "other" cups. At our house, "other" could mean mugs, thermos's, bowls, funnels, jars, anything that can hold liquid. 8 more plates were used because they all ate chicken nuggets at snack time and chips, and then had more plates later when they wanted more nuggets. Can't use the old one cause it's dirty right?

And finally at dinner time at another 4 of everything. By this time the dishwasher was done so the boys happily used another 6 or 7 cups getting drinks of water (and milk) before bed. Evening Totals: 46

Grand Total: 95

"But wait!" you say. "95 is less than 107. That should be enough." Ah, but you forget my young padowan, the Law of Diminishing Utencils! This law states: The amount of utencils owned will decrease at an increased rate in correlation to the number of children living in the home. We have 4. That means that on any given day, we will lose 13 pieces utencils. For example, yesterday I loaded the dishwasher with nearly 20 forks. After they were clean, I put them back into the drawer. All 20 of them (remember that number). A few hours later I wanted a fork, opened the drawer and there were two forks. Just two. I looked in the sink. No forks. I looked in the dishwasher. No forks. I asked my 4 children, "Have you guys used any forks?" This is what they said:
Josh: "Parker used some."
Parker: "No I didn't! You did!"
Josh: "No I didn't Parker, you used one to stab ants."
Parker "That was Alex!"
Alex: "It was not, it was a beetle."
Josh: "Well Parker still used some"
Parker: "Yeah, to eat chicken nuggets"
Marcus: "I like forks! Can I have skittles?"

It kind of deteriorated form there so I left the room and continued my search. I did manage to find some here and there and by the end of the day we managed to scrape enough together to have dinner. So the morale of this story is to remember to support the Global Warming movement and buy lots of paper plates and plastic utencils.

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