The Mathematical Probability of Interruption

I have a theory I’d like to posit.  And no, I’m not sure if I spelled or used the word “posit” correctly – moving on.

Without fail, when I make the concerted effort to get up early in the morning so I can have a quiet time or do some writing, my kids also wake up extra early.

Undoubtably, if I sit down for a moment midday to rest, read a book, read blogs, write, someone will fall down and skin their knee, need a drink, have to use the bathroom, or, as is the case right now with Landon, just suddenly need a few extra snuggles (which I am gladly doling out so this post may take forever to finish).

Okay, I’m back and let me just say that I just got some of the sweetest kisses and hugs from that precious baby.  Wow…I hope he’s not getting sick. 

Anyway, I posted a status update on my Facebook page the other day regarding this particular phenomenon and received a fascinating response from one of my friends that got me thinking.  Her idea was that children can sense a change in air pressure, so if we move early in the morning, it stirs them.  While I find this to be a fascinating theory, I’d like to take it a step further.

Thus, I have now established The Probability of Interruption, which I feel certain should eventually be adopted as a true Theory.  Or not. I don’t know much about that sort of thing, actually.  I’ve always been a literature kind of gal. Me and math are not friends.

The Probability of Interruption states that as the heartrate of the mother, the bpm (beats per minute), rises and falls, so will the bpm of the child also rise in fall in opposite and similar effect.

Got it? No?

An example – this morning, I took my resting heart rate when I woke up.  I had a resting bpm of 56.  Once I rose and moved around enough to use the bathroom, get dressed, come out to the computer and sit down, my bpm had risen to about 62.

And Tia woke up.  Even though it was quite early and she went to bed late last night, she still woke up.  Why is this? Why, it’s because of The Probability of Interruption.  As my heart rate rose, do did hers.  Though I made little to no noise, she was stirred from her slumber.  In this instance, her heart rate rose in similar effect to mine.

Now, after rushing to get everyone ready for the day and Sloan out the door, my bpm was at roughly 68.  I sat down at the computer and after 5 minutes of sitting, it had fallen back down to 63.  It was at this precise moment that Tia hit her brother and he came to me crying.  Moments after dealing with that, both children were in need of a drink.  Why is this?  Because…you got it! The Probability of Interruption.  As my heart rate dropped, the kids’ bpm’s rose in opposite effect thereby causing inappropriate behavior and the metabolic need for sustenance.

This is why I have such a difficult time getting anything done.  If I want to clean, someone will ultimately thwart that plan.  If I want to take a shower, you can be sure that someone will pull open the shower door with some sort of desperate need – all because as my heart rate slowed into a relaxed state, theirs rose into an agitated state, thus necessitating (?) the need to interrupt my reverie.

So, in effect, The Probability of Interruption pretty much guarantees that for the rest of my life, I will likely be interrupted any time I begin to get too comfortable.  My theory obviously proves that as fact.

And, while this theory can have some mild effect on fathers, it appears that mostly and mainly The Probability of Interruption applies to mothers alone.  Even if dad is the one to wake up early and mom’s bpm remains in the resting state, the children will most likely either sleep through dad’s movement, or they will wake up due to the noise that dad inevitably makes and come wake mom up rather than disturb dad. 

So there you have it, ladies.  You now have scientific evidence that your children are hard wired to make sure that you never fully accomplish anything to the full extent.  Oh, and incidentally, this theory works just as equally if mom is doing anything that raises her heart rate.  This means that you and your husband will most likely want to make judicious use of the lock on your bedroom door if you get my drift…and I think you do. (blush)

Now I’ve embarrassed myself and my bpm is surely rising because the kids are going wild.  Gotta go!


  1. Dave Lipscomb says

    I think the situation is this: If you rest too much, children instinctively assume that somehow, their needs are not being met, thereby raising the stress level of the child. This causes the “need to sustenance” as you aptly put it–or the need to damage themselves in some way, thereby drawing your attention.

    As you are aware, this theory works for spousal units as well 😉

  2. I like it and total get what you are saying! Btw, who was it that walked in on you, Sloan or Tia? That is one of my fears, what did you do?

    • Oh – it hasn’t happened to us yet. We’re very careful. But I’ve heard horror stories…

  3. Erika Conley says

    LOL! great post & very true!

  4. Oh man, I just yelled out last night for the world to hear” Can I complete just ONE task completely??!!” So true, thanks for your insight, you may be on to something!! At least it helps to know every mom feels the same way!


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