August 30, 2010

making it up as i go

Motherhood is about 25% planning and 75% improvisation.

Case in point:

Among the list of projects this summer was replacing our old backyard "patio." I use the term patio loosely, as it was made of masonry bricks (the ones with holes in them) and the grass from the rest of the yard had nearly covered it up. Knowing that we'd be hosting a large family gathering for Malcolm's first birthday party, my husband and I were in agreement that something had to be done ... Namely getting rid of the old and putting in something new.

The entire project went smoothly for the most part ... If you don't consider extreme sunburn (on my husband, not me), extra trips to the store for sand and supplies, increasing the size of the patio (almost on a whim) to use up more of the new pavers, extending the working timetable by about three days, and intermittent rain showers during the whole process "bumps in the road." I'll just say that I'm insanely lucky that my husband and I work pretty well together and balance each other out ... If not, someone may not have survived the ordeal (him not me).

Anyway, once the new patio was complete, we ended up with an extra bag of "special sand" (it actually solidifies to become like concrete between the paver joints) that needed to be returned to the landscaping supply store. With the summer quickly passing us by, the business hours of said store were cut back, preventing my husband from making the trip there after work. So, it was up to Malcolm and me to make the final return and consider the project to be DONE ...

As we drove out, I tried to reason in my mind how I'd juggle a baby and a fifty pound bag of sand ... I considered pulling up to the store's drive through window (I'd have to figure how to get over to it, first), entering the store with Malcolm (and leaving the sand in the car) then having an employee assist us, and even carrying the sand (and leaving Malcolm in the car ... I know, terrible mother alert!). When all was said and done, I decided that I'd be self-sufficient and get the baby and the sand into the store at the same time ... So, I pulled out the stroller and began to fasten Malcolm inside.

Then I had a "scientific epiphany" of sorts and thought back to all the basic physics I had taught ...

The bag of sand weighed fifty pounds.

The baby weighed just under twenty.

Pushing an object on wheels is easier (less work) than lifting and carrying that same object.

If I carried the sand, I'd be doing more work than if I carried the baby ...

With that dilemma settled, I hoisted Malcolm out of the stroller and promptly shoved the sand inside, then I pulled that beast into the store.

Like I said ... 25% planning, 75% improvisation.


  1. wow, way to think on the spot!

  2. This made me laugh so hard. Love this post!