Thursday, November 03, 2011

How Many Kids? An Interdisciplinary Approach

I have an ongoing discussion with friends about how many children is the perfect number to parent. Their responses usually follow their occupations. A physicist friend suggests only one because with any more the potential combination of interactions and relationships, factoring friends and relatives, is far too complex for the human mind to grasp.

A statistician I know suggested 2.7, with a margin of error of 1.1.

Interestingly a mathematician got really excited about two children because it is the only even prime number – although ideally he said he would like to have 3.141, but unfortunately children only come in whole numbers.

My mechanic suggested three, so you have one for spare parts.

I have two, but feel strongly that three is the ideal number of children. Four is too many, because then the kids have a super-majority and you have to rule by fiat. But with three you get complex alliances and you can usually peel one off in order to create a semblance of democracy while really retaining control.

Mama Goof however does not want to see our house run as a political science experiment. Not that she is opposed in principle to our having a third child. Her conditions were simple, “You want another kid – you carry it and give birth!”

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