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Chaos: Theory and Practice
Whatever Kevin Fisher-Paulson learned about chaos theory in high school physics isn't helping him manage two young boys.
By Kevin Fisher-Paulson
High school physics for me was in 1975 so I'm sure that they have changed most of those rules. Gravity is probably still gravity but the only other one I remember anyway was the law of entropy which stated something along the lines of everything in the entire universe is spinning out towards disorder.
This is what gave me nightmares in my junior year. At 16, I saw this as a great cosmic battle between the forces of order and chaos, and, me, I was rooting for order. It's probably where my OCD comes from and I spent much of my senior year alphabetizing my 8-track collection and putting my comic books in numerical order.
But almost 40 years later living with my dancer husband, my two hyperactive sons and my four continually shedding rescue dogs I have come to think of this as less of a battle and more of a propaganda campaign. And chaos is winning.
Chaos throws all of their laundry and all their action figures into a pile on the dining room table while the fur balls roll into tumble weeds in the living room. Truth to tell there is more dirt on the kitchen floor than there is on the postage stamp of a lawn outside.
But the final straw was Zane's pajamas. Aidan, God bless him, continues to wear the footed pajamas that make an eight-year-old look twice as adorable. But at the advanced age of ten, Zane has decided to wear only two piece pajamas, and, agent of entropy that he is, he insists on mismatching them. You really want to drive an OCD guy like me over the edge? Walk around with a red Star Wars top and a yellow Toy Story bottom.
I asked Zane why. He shrugged his shoulders, and asked back, "Hey Dad. You know all that time you spend matching up socks? You do know that we could be riding bicycles instead?"
I surrender. Chaos wins. If the Lords of Order ask for me, tell them I'm out peddling.
With a Perspective, this is Kevin Fisher-Paulson.
Kevin Fisher-Paulson is a captain with the San Francisco Sheriff's Department.