One of the great scientific truths of the nautical realm is displacement. Essentially, whatever goes in the water moves aside an equal volume of water. This is a fun one to do with kids in the bathtub (not recommended for parents of teens). However, the displacement we are discussing today is Einstein’s Law of Parental Displacement (LPD).
The formula is a tricky one but it basically shows that the greater the number of children in a family, the more frequently a parent (typically the father) will be displaced from his or her position in the bed chamber. You can Google the formula on the interweb.
I confess that with the birth of our first child, I had little faith in LPD. Indeed, Reina frequently slept between the two of us and merely caused us to move over a tad bit so that she had the cushy 75 percent of the mattress in the middle, and Savvy and I split the remaining 25 percent between the two of us, each comfortably balancing ourselves on the opposite edges. As you can imagine, this can hardly be considered LPD as we were clearly both still sleeping on the edges of the same bed.
With the twins, however, the bedroom did take on some noticeable displacement. This was particularly the case while on holiday, when Savvy or I would sleep with both babies while the other parent slept in our daughter’s bed, since she still had no effect on our sleeping habits whatsoever, even at age six.
As time passed, the boys became more comfortable with their own cribs and spent less time in our bed, unless one of them did not feel well. On those occasions, I completely gave up fighting the physics of LPD. I found myself adrift in the home, cast about on the sofa, in the spare bunk of my daughter’s room, and lately on a mattress pad on the office floor. I am adrift, but slumbering nonetheless.
That is unless both boys are feeling unwell. Then I find myself even further displaced with a baby in my “spare” quarters. At such times I have awoken with a start. huddled in the fetal position on the cold floor.
LPD – it’s nature’s way of telling us to buy a bigger bed.
Photos courtesy of superFantastic (Flickr)