The Butthead Butterfly Effect
It is said that the apparently innocuous act of a butterfly flapping its wings can cause an unseen chain reaction of events leading to a hurricane on the other side of the world, or even a mediocre Ashton Kutcher movie that forever taints everyone’s idea of an inherently cool Chaos Theory concept.
Many doubt the validity of the Butterfly Effect, but I have always seen it as a special Effect. If you think about it, there is at least some truth to it. Every choice, every action we take on a daily basis–we can’t even begin to fathom their impact on the courses of our lives. Often I wonder how different things would be if just one occurrence in my life were even slightly altered…
. . .
As always, it had been an eventful morning in the Twiniverse, as my son had decided he was just not that into napping, stubbornly insisting on playing instead, even though every gesture and interaction with his toys pissed him right off. Apparently he preferred the baby equivalent of cussing out his Sesame Street Singing Pop-Up Pals to giving in to the slumber he obviously required.
After 45 minutes of rocking, pacing, and possibly even a little begging on my part, I had finally gotten him to sleep, and as an added bonus, my daughter was especially cooperative (or exhausted–I’ll take either), drifting off right on schedule. Two naps. At the same time. As I’ve mentioned before, this Nap Overlap is a rare occurrence worthy of its own celebratory dance.
But meanwhile, unbeknownst to me or my napping progeny, a menace had descended upon our cul-de-sac, one that would severely alter the next hour of my life…forever.
. . .
People get in and out of automobiles every day, and thus, the closing of vehicle doors has become a routine act for drivers and passengers alike, one performed without even thinking about it. However, people execute this task with varying degrees of force. This, O Loyal Reader, is the hard-hitting issue that I want to soften today, and the reason I’ve gathered you all here.
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, it will still probably wake up my son and daughter. So if a car door slams loudly in my neck of the woods, I will consider slamming the neck of your body with said fallen tree.
Now, when I say “slam” I truly mean a slam. I realize that to properly close a vehicular entrance point, one must apply oomph, yielding that satisfying latch clack alerting the user of a successful close, and by no means am I complaining about a normal, human-style close. Such sound effects from fellow neighborhood dwellers are perfectly acceptable. The Twins’ rooms are equipped with white-noise Sound Machines (which I suspect to be from Miami), and their continuous, atmospheric whooshing does a stellar job at dampening the intensity of incoming sound waves such as sane-person door closing.
I don’t even mind my dog’s proficiency at notifying me that an area automobile has been shut (just in case I missed it) because I have become adept at silencing her so she does not wake the Dynamic Duo from their static state.
However, nothing could have prepared me for The Car Door Slam Heard ‘Round the Neighborhood.
. . .
Our house is situated in such a way that our living room is in the middle of the house, three rooms away from the wall facing the street. Yet, somehow, someone (or something) was able to uber-slam his/hers/its vehicle so loudly that it sounded like the Kool-Aid Man was trying to “Oh yeah” his fat glass ass through my wall, but had severely underestimated its density.
I literally jumped on impact, inspecting each room just to make sure I wasn’t crazy and nothing had fallen, rushing back into the living room every three seconds to shush my barking canine. But just as I realized this was, in fact, some psycho grizzly bear/man hybrid taking a sprinting start and throwing a double-pawed flying-kick at some poor, innocent vehicle, my exhausted son woke up in a livid inferno of streaming tears and tiny, kicking feet.
In a flash of faux-genius, I irrationally considered setting my son safely back in his crib, grabbing one of my ninja swords, and avenging his ravaged sleep pattern, but realized that whoever or whatever had created this disturbance was probably of superhuman persuasion (Vampire? X-Man? Decepticon?) and not worth messing with. After all, I’m a father now.
Picking up my son, I eased into the rocking chair and coaxed him back to sleep. For another 45 minutes.
. . .
So, as you can see, the closing of a car door is sometimes not just the closing of a car door. Every once in a while, when a grizzly bear/man hybrid pummels a Ford Galaxie with a shovel, it can cause a human monsoon devastating entire hours of a parent’s life–hours that a stay-at-home dad/Ph. D. student hybrid could have been spent figuring out that damned statistics problem he has been attempting for days, or burning one’s mouth on the scalding interior of a Hot Pocket while capitalizing on the first free moment to eat lunch, or even writing for a fine publication very much akin to the one you are reading.
My point, O Loyal Reader, is this: You can never truly know the implications of your seemingly small, insignificant actions. So next time you are entering or leaving a vehicle, please be aware of surrounding residences that could contain stay-at-home parents who are less sane than myself, and who very well could retaliate in straitjacket-inspiring fashion.
Unless, of course, you are prepared to be Rocked Like a Hurricane.
You may also enjoy:
If not, that’s fine. Just go easy on that car door on your way out.
I have twins. I feel your pain.
And this was one of the most awesome posts I’ve ever read. Lol!!
Ah, a fellow twin-wrangler. People claim to understand us, but they never truly can, eh? :)
Thanks so, so much. It’s a true honor to be counted among your “most awesome” posts.
I’ll have to check out your blog, too, since in addition to having twins, you obviously also have phenomenal taste.
I remember walking on pins and needles when I was just trying to keep one kid asleep. I can’t imagine the heck of trying to get two to sleep at the same time, and to keep them asleep!
Yeah, there’s good days and bad days. I’m just glad I was able to calm down my son before he woke up my daughter, too. Two startled-awake babies at the same time is not even a little fun.
Oh, if only we were all so optimistic as the Kool-Aid guy…
I know! Who knew an enormous talking glass pitcher could impart such wisdom?
Hilarious as usual, just wanted you to know I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award of which you have probably already received, but wanted you to know I really enjoy your posts!
JT–So rad of you to include me. Thanks so much!
[Gets up to soothe screaming banshee and bring said screaming banshee to computer.]
I hereby award you 100 kajillion Twinfamy Bucks, redeemable nowhere, but I still think it sounds pretty cool. Plus, if you cash them in for Twinfamy Pennies, you could swim in them like Scrooge McDuck.
Ah, the dreaded car door… I have, on ocassion, back out of the drive way before closing my door when I know my daughter is at a particularly vulnerable point in her sleep cycle. Some people (particularly childless ones) just don’t understand the effects their noise can have on others.
You’re one of the good ones, Micha. I salute your astute door-closing prowess. I like to think that the nasty sting of karma will someday come back to get those door slammers, grizzly bear hybrids or not.
The slamming of car doors are prone to wake up a certain blogger with an active imagination from her nap, thus ruining a perfectly good brainstorming about a post that should have been put on her blog…but didn’t, because car door slammer woke up this blogger right in the middle of her dream, and destroying a possible post on the rocky relationship between the Count and Rose. So now, blogger must post a boring poem about snow instead of exploring the rough relationship between two of her new favorite characters who she hopes to introduce to the world.
That being said, this blogger loved this post, and now no longer minds losing her creative streak to a car door slammer, knowing there are others out there who share her pain. She desperately hopes that the car door slammer gets run over by the Kool-Aid man. He’s got a body of steel, as he crashes through walls all the time. Imagine what he could do to an offending human. “OH YEAH!”
Oh yeah. The car door slam can really put a damper on one’s awesomeness. It makes me wonder if the Kool-Aid Man is a contract wall-crash-through-er. He’s really sitting on a goldmine if not.