The more time that you spend around kids, the more you learn. When the kids were younger, I realized that you can quantify the backseat nonsense on a trip. Now that my kids comprise the gamut from elementary to high school, I better understand the concept of the Space-Time Continuum.
According to the theory, we exist in dimensions that comprise not only the physical dimensions of space – height, width, depth – but also time. But I’ve realized that this only applies to adults since children and teens don’t exist in the two until they’re actually adults. Like with jobs and responsibilities.
Smaller children exist first solely in the dimension of time. They actually take up almost no space – you can easily fit eight children into a double closet – but require a considerable investment in time. Can you tie my shoe? No, the other way ‘cuz the laces are touching the ground. Will you watch a movie with me for the thirteenth time? Can we make cookies now? Later? Again? Daddy, he threw my bunny in the potty! Daddy, can you help me find Wally? I really need him to sleep with and haven’t seen him since last Christmas. But I really need Wally NOW! Children will expand to occupy the time continuum and that is exponential to the number of children in the household.
But that changes somewhere around the age of thirteen. It’s as though the onset of puberty causes a mysterious shift as the structure of the time continuum collapses upon itself and the space demands blossom like an ebola virus in a closed monkey colony. Teens have absolutely no concept of time. They can pass hours engaged in electronic conversations filled with acronyms or watch the entire Hannah Montana weekend marathon without voluntarily shifting from the sofa. Oh, it’s really Sunday night and there’s school tomorrow? I’ve got a whole ‘nother day so no problem on the Science Fair project, I’ll get on it real soon. Hey! Why do I have to empty a trash can that’s overflowing? Can’t you ask me earlier? Oh. The space continuum not only pertains to their corporeal selves, but the items that they generate. Soda cans. Waste tissues with dried blood, mucus and/or acne residue. Clothing that blooms from the fertile soil of the recently emptied hamper even though it appears already clean. My mind simply boggles.
I prefer to work in the time continuum with the smaller ones and I really do miss that element. But the teens represent a greater challenge and I’ll just have to risk a warp breech as I impose the time continuum on the spatial requirements of the elder siblings. The results are sometimes a bit destructive.