Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Creative Problem Solving : A Tutorial

Step 1: Identify the Problem.
  • Liam, skinny-minny that he is, has peed out of his diaper enough times that I'm out of clean swaddling blankets.  No swaddle = less sleep.  Less sleep is not an option.
  • I am out of clean nursing tops.
  • I am not allowed to carry anything heavier than the baby.  
  • The laundry that needs to get down three flights of stairs in our split level home is considerably heavier than the baby. 
  • I do NOT want to make 15 trips down said levels to get a complete load of laundry downstairs.
  • Medman (aka my pack mule) is at work all day.

Step 2: Identify the tools you have to work with.
  • I have a 5 year old boy who is not strong enough to carry down a heavy hamper. 
  • My 5 year old boy does like to make messes. 
  • I have a 2 year old girl who, let's face it, is no help at all.  (Reference this post.)  She really shouldn't even be mentioned in the tools section.  When I call her a 'tool' I'm not referring to the useful kind. 
  • I have a degree in engineering so that I understand the laws of physics that God set in place, my favorite of which is gravity.  (See how I'm using my education mom and dad?  Not everyone can work physics into their blog post.  Just wait 'til I start blogging about Bernoulli's equation.)

Step 3: Utilize the tools you have.
  • Come up with motivation for 5 year old: Shout enthusiastically that the name of the game is "The Great Laundry Roundup!!!"
  • Point 5 year old toward your dirty clothes.  
  • Direct him to pick up armfuls of clothing.

  • Direct him to THROW THEM DOWN THE STAIRS!  (See?  This is where the gravity comes in...)

  • Watch him enjoy the next 10 minutes of throwing clothes down flight after flight of stairs until it is all neatly collected in the laundry room. 
  • Bask in the joy of knowing your 5 year old thinks you are the coolest mom ever and that the baby's next nap has a good chance of being nice and long. 
  • Remember to ask the pack mule tonight to carry the laundry back upstairs.  


  1. You go, Girl! Engineering? Sheesh! I can't figure my way outta paper bag. I'm in awe!

    The first house we had when the 3 stepsons moved in had a catwalk between the master and 2 upstairs bedrooms. Laundry was upstairs, btw. But everything else? "Toss that down here!" "Toss that up here". Luckily the boys had fairly good aim. But it still makes me cringe. . . as do most memories of those early years.

    Take care!

  2. Oh, I think you ARE the coolest mom ever! Good thinking (and even better selling it to the 5 yr. old!)

  3. Wow! I think I need you in my house to convince a few people here that chores are cool. You could totally do that, right?

  4. So let me get this straight. You refer to Belle as both a "tool" and a "turd". You are AWESOME.


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