Entropy: Noun 1. Lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder. …or… 2. Toddlers.
I’ve been thinking about the principle of entropy a lot lately. My dad was the king of inventing games and then using those games to introduce his kids to highly advanced theories and scientific principles. We used to play a game called “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Screwdriver” where you basically pick anything in the entire world -theoretical principle, idea, person, place, thing, etc.- and then have a five to ten minutes debate about why your item of choice beats everyone else’s item of choice.
One time, my dad chose entropy. After he taught us what it was, we collectively banned it’s use. Because, hi. That’s cheating.
I started a really good book series a couple of weeks ago. Orson Scott Card’s, “Alvin Maker” series. I just finished Book One: Seventh Son. It’s wonderful and I highly recommend it. The ultimate Boss Level bad guy in that series is called the “Unmaker” which, in my imagination, is basically the equivalent of entropy. It desires to ‘unmake’ everything and turn it into nothing; disorder, chaos. Alvin Maker, if you couldn’t guess, is sort of his arch nemesis.
I relate to Alvin Maker.
Because my kids are tiny Unmakers.
The laundry. All I want to do is make clean clothes for everyone. And fold them and put them all neatly away. All the tiny Unmakers want to do is spread it all around on the floor, wad it all into tight little balls to see how wrinkly they can make it, and see how far they can throw each individual sock across the room. (Spoiler: It’s far.)
Dinner.Pretty straight forward…I’d like to make dinner. Preferably a dinner that my kids will actually eat, but at the least a meal that I can put in front of them to assuage myself of any potential blame that may come my way right before bed when they inform me that they’re both ‘starving’. The Unmakers? They want to “help”. I’m pretty sure that word is just their way of lulling me into complacency so that they can get up close and personal in order to more effectively destroy the entire kitchen.
Cleaning.My goal: to clean. Their goal: to make new messes while I’m busy cleaning up the decoy messes.
Bath Time.It seems so simple; I’d like to get the kids clean and keep the water in the bathtub. Theirs is more of a three step process. Step 1. Run around butt-neked. Step 2. Either a) stay dirty OR b) dump the entire bottle of baby soap on their heads in an attempt to ‘help’ -there’s that word again- get clean. Step 3. There are bonus points for every liter of water that ends up on the bathroom floor, apparently. Maybe it was a bad call for me to give them a bucket as a bath toy. *ponders*
So, you see…we are at odds my Unmakers and I. They are entropy. I am the attempt at creating order in the chaos. We wage daily battles. Sometimes I lose, sometimes they lose. Mostly, I take my victories while they’re asleep and then I wait for the wakeful state wherein they will promptly undo all I’ve done.
Occasionally I see glimpses of their potential as future Makers. They seem to be Makers-in-training as it were. The older Luke gets, the less entropic he becomes. (Entropic. It’s a word.) From time to time, I can enlist him to engage in battle against the lead Unmaker in our house, and from time to time he successfully resists the urge to get sucked into the alluring prospect of destruction. It’s a beautiful thing.
And I take comfort in the fact that in the end, I will ultimately emerge victorious. I mean, if you think about it…I Made the Unmakers for crying out loud. And I’m Making them INTO Makers. So you see, in the face of all that Making, there’s no way the Unmakers can succeed.
*Adopts this as a new daily mantra and repeats as needed*