# Toddler Laws of Physics (Toddler Lessons: Part One)

They may live by their own rules most of the time, but even toddlers can’t escape the laws of physics.

Here are ten laws of physics as demonstrated by toddlers. (Well, eight laws of physics/laws connected to physics, and two random principles favoured by scientists, technically.)

1. Archimede’s Principle

(The buoyant force exerted on a body immersed in a fluid is equal to the weight of the fluid that the body displaces. The volume of an object can be calculated by the volume of water it displaces.)

Measuring the displacement of water by a toddler in a bath allows accurate calculation of the volume of work involved in cleaning the bathroom following said bath.

2. Boyle’s law

(When temperature is constant, volume of a gas is inversely proportional to the pressure.)

The volume of sleep a toddler has is inversely proportionate to the pressure of the temper tantrum in which the toddler will engage.

3. Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation

(The force with which bodies are attracted to each other is directly proportional to the product of their masses, and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.)

The attraction of two toddlers to one another is directly proportional to the likelihood of them hitting one other, and inversely proportional to the likelihood of there being two of the toy they will both want to play with.

4. Pascal’s Law

(Pressure exerted at any point in a confined fluid is transmitted equally at every other point in the container.)

Tantrums exerted by a toddler in any shop during an outing will be transmitted equally throughout all shops on the outing (until the parent surrenders and returns home, or supplies chocolate).

5. Newton’s Laws of Motion

(First Law: An object at rest will remain at rest, and an object in motion will continue to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force. Second Law: The sum of the external forces on an object is equal to the mass of that object multiplied by the acceleration of the object. Third Law: When one body exerts a force on another body, the other body exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.)

Toddler’s First Law of Motion: A moving toddler will continue moving at a constant velocity (known as ‘hyperactive cheetah’) until acted upon by the external force of a wall that came out of nowhere and smacked them in the nose. A toddler who does not wish to sit in the buggy will enter and remain in a state of extreme rest (known as ‘the plank’) until acted upon by the external force of bribery with raisins and wrestled into the buggy.

Toddler’s Second Law of Motion: High speed toddlers brandishing heavy objects with the intent of whacking you on the head are very dangerous.

Toddler’s Third Law of Motion: Two toddlers running will always run with equal zeal in opposite directions, exerting equal force upon each other at the point of inevitable collision. They will both cry.

6. The Theory of Special Relativity

(What is relative and what is absolute about space, time and motion…Oh, yes, I am not even attempting to give a proper summary of the Theory of Special Relativity!)

Bedtime is relative: where parents see bedtime, toddlers do not. Broccoli is relative: parents see food, toddlers do not. Everything a parent says is actually relative. It may have been an order from the parents’ point of view. The toddler, however, heard a gentle suggestion that they have decided not to follow.

Furthermore, according to the Theory of Special Relativity, moving clocks run more slowly than stationary clocks. Grumpy toddlers are also able to influence the speed with which clocks run. This is why an hour in the doctors’ surgery waiting room lasts for approximately eleven years.

7. Uncertainty Principle

(In quantum mechanics, two complementary parameters (eg, energy and time) cannot both be understood to infinite accuracy: the more you know about one, the less you know about the other.)

Toddlers are their own Uncertainty Principle: the more a parent believes they know about what their toddler wants, the less they actually know. This is why your toddler is crying because they asked for a jam sandwich and you gave them a jam sandwich.

8. Causality Principle

(Cause must always precede effect.)

Causality does apply to toddlers, but not as we know it. Every effect has an alleged cause, but it is not necessarily relevant in any way and it might not have happened yet.
‘Why is the baby in a toy storage box?’
‘Because I’m going to wear my wellies tomorrow, aren’t I?’

9. Occam’s Razor*

(The hypothesis with the fewest assumptions, providing the simplest answer, should be selected.)

Now, toddlers disapprove of Occam’s Razor. They prefer the most ludicrous explanation imaginable for any given situation. However, toddlers are walking manifestations of the principle. They are the simplest explanation. Jam on the baby? Toddler did it. Shoes in the bread bin? Toddler did it. Crayon on the tv? ‘Peppa wanted to be blue’ = Toddler did it.

According to Occam’s Razor, if it looks like a toddler did it, the toddler did it. Do not be fooled by spurious accusations about the cat’s involvement.

10. Murphy’s Law

(If anything can go wrong, it will.)

Self explanatory: in parenting toddlers, if anything can go wrong (and it can), it will.

(Please Note: Absolutely no level of scientific accuracy should be assumed in the contents of this post. If you are studying the Theory of Relativity, step away: nothing here is going to help you. Though, interestingly, if a great enough mass of toddlers are concentrated in any area, they DO create a black hole from which no toy that enters will ever emerge. But I digress…into nonsense, I may add, not General Relativity. Step away.)

You can see other posts in my Toddler Lessons series here.

• Silly Mummy says:

Thank you!

1. Jenn says:

What an awesome list! 7 & 8 are my favorites and I seem to be learning #10 the hard way! Lol

• Silly Mummy says:

Thank you! I think we all learn 10 the hard way!

2. Number 9 is very true, until such time as they realise my brother/sister did it is an equally simple explanation. #Picknmix

• Silly Mummy says:

Haha! I think at that point, you enter Schrodinger’s Naughtiness – both siblings exist in a dual state of naughty and innocent until the parent identifies a culprit!

3. Wow! I love reading this… I’m not too keen on science but these are very good relative examples of such laws, lol #PicknMix

• Silly Mummy says:

Thanks! Yes, toddlers make science more entertaining – who knew?! π

4. Jules says:

Haha! This amused me greatly – whilst simultaneously making me fear the toddler years (which fortunately are quite a way off at the moment!) #thelist

• Silly Mummy says:

Toddlers can be hard work, but they are certainly amusing! I quite like toddlers (don’t tell anyone!), but I have yet to reach the 3 year point, which many say is the worst!

5. Just fantastic. Loved it all – especially number 5!

You are a scientific genius and I salute your grasp on the science of toddler.

Dawn x
#PoCoLo

• Silly Mummy says:

Aw thank you! I’m definitely not a scientific genius (& will probably be told how wrong I am if anyone who is reads this), but my toddler science is definitely accurate! π

6. Lee Gaitan says:

This was hilarious and so very clever! Posts like this make me realize I might not be so nostalgic for my long ago days of mothering a toddler as I often think I am. Now grandmotherhood…I think I could get on board with that!

• Silly Mummy says:

Thank you! Yes, toddlers are hard work, but they are funny. My mum loves grandmotherhood! They save their most charming behaviour for the grandparents too!

7. This is awesome! What an amazing post – I’m jealous I didn’t think to do this first! ? Brilliant x
#TheList

• Silly Mummy says:

Thank you – that is so nice of you to say! x

8. Love it. LOL.
Particularly love number one which also applies to washing dogs I believe. 1. Archimedeβs Principle.

• Silly Mummy says:

Thanks! I’ve never had a dog, but I can imagine that is very true! Washing a cat deserves it’s own scientific law I think, which can be summarised as ‘don’t do it’.

9. Sarah says:

Love this shared it on fb

• Silly Mummy says:

Thank you so much!

10. thisdayilove says:

Absolutely love this post, Hope you do not mind if I share on my blogs Facebook page?

• Silly Mummy says:

Thank you! No, of course I don’t mind – it’s always nice to get shares! Thank you for reading.

11. Tori says:

Love this one: “The volume of sleep a toddler has is inversely proportionate to the pressure of the temper tantrum in which the toddler will engage.” Unfortunately there is so much truth to this, all the way from babyhood to school age. Tired kids are just plain dicks. Great post! Very original. #justanotherlinky
Tori
http://www.themamanurse.com

• Silly Mummy says:

Yes, they are! (So are some tired adults, in fact!) Thank you so much!

• Silly Mummy says:

Thank you!

12. El says:

Hahaha, perfect…Now I understand these Laws much better but I still prefer the Toddler’s version so that I can laugh. Thank goodness it’s the Tween’s and Teenager’s Laws at mine now! #PoColo

• Silly Mummy says:

I dread to think what Tween and Teen Laws of Physics are! Thanks for reading!

13. As someone who has an A-Level in Physics and who is responsible for two toddlers, this is hilarious. I love the uncertainty principle one. So true. Brilliant π #KCACOLS

• Silly Mummy says:

Thank you! & I am glad my physics is deemed acceptable – it is not really my strong point!

14. This is brilliant, very true too! I particularly recognise 2, 6 & 8! #KCACOLS

• Silly Mummy says:

Thank you! π xx

• I need to come back for #bestandworst, I’m just behind you there…leaning left but tapping you on the right shoulder, ha not annoying at all. However I’ve read and commented already so I’m heading over to your next lesson on mathematics…

15. I love your take on this. It makes me think some of these physicists were studying their children lol π #KCACOLS
Debbie

• Silly Mummy says:

Ooh perhaps they were! Thank you!

16. I had an eleven years in the doctors waiting room last week. The little one screamed blue murder for 10 of those 11 years and tried escaping for the rest :/ Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics Brilliant post

• Silly Mummy says:

Thank you! Yes, that sounds much like it usually goes for us. The eldest meanwhile likes to run circuits of the waiting room, chatting to people. She does not understand that she is less charming to sick people. If prevented from this activity, she will join in the screaming!

17. Charlotte says:

Haha I am also enjoying some of the toddlers laws of physics! including Occams razor! where currently everything involves either a jedi, alien or horse as an explanation for everything including who dropped the toast on my carpet! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

• Silly Mummy says:

Well at least those are imaginative and ambitious explanations – wouldn’t want to be boring in the ridiculous excuses!

18. Emma says:

haha this is brilliant and all very, very true! #fartglitter

19. Alice says:

Well that explains EVERYTHING!
How did you know Jet cried when I gave him the jam sandwich he asked for!? He isn’t even a toddler anymore – I think these laws may be more universal than we first thought…
x Alice
#fartglitter

20. Laura says:

Love this! So funny! And “the plank” is definitely a big issue for us #kcacols

21. wendy says:

Brilliant post! I agree with it all..especially number 10!I actually feel like I have learnt dome science too haha xx #anythinggoes

22. Wyn says:

Fantastic. I have a fellow dad at my twins club, who like me is a science geek. I will share this with him. You should consider making a poster of this, I would put it in my office. π

23. Mrs Tubbs says:

Love it! We live the one where Lego expands to fill all the available floor space regularly. Even one tiny box will fill a floor. Not sure what law it is, but it’s mine now.

• Tubbs says:

Back again from #fridayfolics Still great fun π

24. Brilliantly funny – I remember the plank so well!

25. Awesome. My toddler is still proud to tell me “I do it”, so no blaming the cat for us! So funny!

26. Newtons Law is definitely our house at the moment. Infact all of them are, I had forgotten all about the joys of toddlerhood. Thanks for linking to #PickNMix

27. I need to show my hubby this! He had a PHD in physics…I bet with our little toddler he will agree with every single one!! Ha. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst as always x

28. Brilliant post as usual hun. Very entertaining. π

29. Talya says:

This is brilliant! So well thought out and hilarious! Especially love no 2. Boyleβs law. Thanks so much for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely! x

30. Ha ha Broccoli is relative! Fab post huni. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

31. Miranda says:

This is so SO funny! My toddler had a complete melt-down over lunch yesterday because she didn’t want what we were having, she only wanted a jelly sandwich. So I finally gave in and made her a jelly sandwich, only to then have her throw a fit about why she didn’t get the same lunch as everyone else.

Seriously. I can’t make this stuff up. Glad I’m not the only one with toddler problems.

32. Ha had me laughing π Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

Stevie x

33. This did make me giggle as oh so true. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

34. Life as Mum says:

A great post and so true! Yes totally agree with the bath one haha

35. Lindsey says:

You’ve made some extremely exquisite comparisons! Totally accurate. Sharing on twitter and stumbleupon.

36. Sassy says:

I love your posts, and this is no different! Your writing always keeps me laughing! π xxx #AnythingGoes

37. I remember so many of these, the plank! UG! The worst! At that point you just want to carry them back to the car and go home, or the tantrum in the store! I can just see the Toddler as a scientist, she’s got all these theories down!

The one I remember most though was cleaning up after bath time. When I was too tired to care I would let them splash away. I needed the few minutes this bought me to just relax, but crawling around cleaning up the floor afterwards wasn’t really worth it, or was it? LOL

38. Lori says:

Haha! Just want to let you know The Therory of Special Relativity lasts well into the teenage years and beyond. Wonderfully funny piece!

39. Fantastic post. I can definitely relate to 5, 6 & 9. Although I think this list applies to my 7 & 8 year old boys not just toddlers. #brillblogposts

40. Kimmie says:

Your ability to consistently come up with such brilliantly written, cleverly thought out (not to mention hilarious) posts never ceases to amaze me. Such a gift!

I love #6… 11 years… at least! π

41. Mandi says:

I loved this- #10 is especially true in my house!

42. Leah Miller says:

This is brilliant, the uncertainty one, that applies to all of my children, not just the toddler!!

43. Kaye says:

Another hilarious post. I’m not that keen on science but these laws I can definitely relate with. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

44. Love this – and a lot of it sounds familiar. Especially Newton’s Laws of Motion, My daughter often just keeps running until she smacks into something because she wasn’t looking where she was going, and then she seems very confused as to where the object has come from. #fortheloveofBLOG

45. manstayshome says:

Perfect application of Science to actual real life. Lovely.
#fortheloveofBLOG

46. Emma says:

Yep, I have two very hyperactive cheetahs! #FridayFrolics

47. This is very clever, I love it! It makes me a bit sad my kids are all past the toddler stage – am I mad?! #fridayfrolics

48. @MumMalarkey says:

The Special Relativity section is basically my life! I feel both cheerier and more intelligent having read this lol #FridayFrolics

49. This is hilarious! My toddlers are now teenagers – and alarmingly some of these laws still apply!! #FridayFrolics

50. Great post!It took me 3 years to learn the” Uncertainty theory”It transformed my life!I thought I was going mad.#Fridayfrolics

51. Wow! I am very impressed! That is a fantastic list and very accurate depictions of the laws of toddlerhood.
#fridayfrolics

52. Elizabeth says:

Hahaha! So true! I’m on toddler number 4 now, with a baby that will come along behind (ah, why do I torture myself). The triggers are always different, but meltdowns never change!

53. Mama Grace says:

Oh the buggy plank! Great link to laws, nice way of seeing things. #FridayFrolics

54. This is pure genius Lucy! Exceptional:)
Loved the Theory of Special Relativity and number 10 – SO DAMN TRUE!!!
#FridayFrolics

55. Do you think Murphy was a parent?! #FridayFrolics

56. I have seen all of these in action at some point or another. Right now we’re dealing with special relativity – I think it’s bedtime, my toddler doesn’t. #FridayFrolics

57. jodie filogomo says:

This is what makes being a mother the hardest job in the world, right?

58. So cute. Brings me back to those days of toddler baths, snacks, and tantrums! Don’t miss them… and yet I kind of do? Sigh.