Friday, September 02, 2011

Getting Dressed, Physics for the Morning

Recently I met the husband of an old college friend who is an honest-to-goodness rocket scientist. We had a fascinating discussion of what it takes to get a satellite to send signals to earth. The antenna had to be aligned towards earth, while the satellite’s solar panels had to be pointing at the sun. All of this had to occur while the satellite was orbiting the earth at high speeds. It is a complex multi-dimensional physics problem.

But it is nothing compared to GoofGirl getting dressed in the morning.

If the shoes don’t work with the shirt and pants… But she can’t change the shoes because she doesn’t like the laces on her other pair, which conflict with her hair (I don’t understand how this is possible, but I’m just a dad) – and her hair, which she hates by the way, is not being cooperative by still being brown and curly (because sometimes hair changes overnight apparently)…

She is only seven, way to young for this. I don’t even have the language to address this issue. Complex physics indeed, there are too many variable and I don’t understand any of them or how they interact. Mama Goof (who went to private schools that had uniforms) has no patience for it whatsoever.

I did what Dads do, and poked my head into her room every five minutes and told her to get dressed. This had little effect because analyzing clothes combinations is, from her perspective, part of the process of getting dressed. I respectfully disagree.

Mama Goof took a different approach, “Be dressed in two minutes or you wear this skirt and this shirt and that’s it.”

In two minutes GoofGirl was not dressed. Mama Goof began initiating the DefClothes sequence. GoofGirl begged, “Just let me explain, Mommy. Give me one more chance.”

MamaGoof would have none of it. She was right, of course.

I remember once as a kid I wasn’t getting dressed in the mornings (I didn’t care about my outfit, I think I just wanted to push BubbeGoof’s buttons.) One morning, when I wasn’t dressed in time for carpool, BubbeGoof waved the carpool away and left me alone in the house for hours even though I was only four years old. (I think you can be arrested for that now.) BubbeGoof insists she just drove around the block, but then she came back and pointedly ignored me all morning. I got dressed every pre-school morning since (although as an adult I have managed to develop a career where I spend a lot of time during the day sitting around in my pajamas.

This was the second day of school, and GoofGirl hasn’t given us any trouble since. Still, we would love it if our school adopted uniforms. Then GoofGirl could devote the freed up brain capacity to astrophysics.

1 comment:

Kol Ra'ash Gadol said...

We had all kinds of problems getting out of the house on time last year. This year, all prep has to be done the night before. Clothes and food selected - and miraculously, this year, lunches are not a struggle, and they are also being eaten (last year, they mostly came home with a grumpy, hungry child - he doesn't so much care about clothes, including whether they're on backwards, or inside-out). In fact, this year, we have been able to get him from bed to door in under 45 minutes. Which may actually be a sign that Moshiach is approaching.