Are you ready for a good laugh! Read Guest Blogger Paul Schwartz who writes: Big Daddy Paul
“I know what you are thinking, “Paul, you and your damn Cartesian coordinates. When will you ever get enough?” Sadly the answer is never.
I get high on math graphs as often as a high school boy huffs paint. I use them all the time, finding value in almost every parenting decision I have to make.
I have included a few here as a sample of how I make decisions. I got this idea after reading a bunch of magazine like the Atlanta Parent Magazine, I sometimes skim through them for inspiration, it bring my thoughts to new places and from there I can see how I might improve on my situation. Anyway, check these out, (In case you need some help deciphering the graphs, each axis contains a different truth. In the space between each axis, I identify what you should do when two things are true at the same time.)
So let’s take the example of “Should I have more kids?” Here is how we decided whether to have a second kid:
As you can see, most of the time, one or both of your kids are unhappy. When your kids are unhappy, they make you unhappy. As a result, when you have more than one kid most of the time either life sucks or you are actively trying to kill yourself. And this is with only two kids; I hear there are actually people out there with even more than two kids! I can only imagine the horror.
These graphs can also help you out with questions like, “What should I do when I either don’t like my kid’s new friend, or the friend’s parents.” Here’s what to do:
It doesn’t take a degree in advanced Analytical Squirrel Geometry to figure out that if you either like or hate an entire family you should either vacation with them or ignore them altogether. The dicier issue arises when you like the parents and hate the kids or vice versa. Drop off play dates are good at avoiding nerdy, smelly or overly republican parents. If you need an excuse, say something like, “Sorry, our property insurance policy forbids too many people in the house at any time, owing to the stress to the floorboards. Your kid is TOTALLY welcome, though.”
The worst has to be when you like the parents, but hate the kid. Every time you have to interrupt your scintillating conversation to get their mongrel kid to stop chewing your kid’s pants seems like miscarriage of justice. It’s best to just do something that requires no interaction between the kids and no parental involvement. Movies work well, and signing your kids up for some light medical experimentation also fits the bill, especially when you get to hide behind a two sided mirror.
Quadrants can also help with mundane tasks like, “What should I feed my kid for dinner?” Putting each “Child Food Group” on a different axis, you are left with these choices.
This system also does a good job of helping you decide whether a given movie is appropriate for your child. Here’s how:
Just be careful that you don’t accidentally mix up the movies upon execution. On our last trip, we accidentally gave Malcolm Blazing Saddles instead of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in his portable DVD player. By the time we figured out the mistake, he had heard about 20 N-bombs and the same amount of F-bombs. I’m sure therapy is soon to follow.
Lastly, I put together this quadrant to show that they are useful under almost any scenario. I used completely random events to populate the axis, and, sure enough, the graphs are good enough to help you out of almost every bind. Take a look:
By no means should you point a constipated child anywhere near a hot mom. They are likely to blow at any time, and there is no surer way to get eliminated from play date consideration than spattering someone with feces. I also wonder how I can get my get my kid to smell like bacon more often. Maybe one of you can help me out with a graph for that. For once, I am at a loss.
I hope you find these useful. Let me know if they help you get out of any jams. “