Family Leverage


You gotta go to the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore.  It’s the place where the kids beat on all the hands-on exhibits while we try to explain science stuff we learned 30 seconds too late for it to matter.

There’s a tug-of-war machine. The kids grab one side (the side with the leverage) and you grab the other. If you don’t let them win you look like a jerk.
There’s an exhibit that creates a whirlpool, but your kids won’t crank the thing hard enough for your standards. You’ll still be a little bitter about the tug-of-war loss, so you’ll grab the handle and let it rip until your forehead veins actually make contact with the device. When you stop and look around to see the awe in all the kids’ faces, you’re let down like the five-year-old girl standing by crying because you stole her turn.

Catch up with your kids at the electric circuit lab. There’s a 17-year-old nerd (not that there’s anything wrong with that) running the show and he’ll give you this speech about the days when Christmas lights went out after one bulb died. He wasn’t even stinking up diapers in those days, but he’ll preach parallel circuits to you and crickets while the kids bolt to the dinosaur dig.

You catch a glimpse of your ladyfriend while playing some hide-and-seek around some T-Rex bones and she’s just watching it all happen.  The funny thing is she looks like she’s enjoying the show.  And that’s when it hits you… This mess that seemed like a completely erratic afternoon was perfectly planned. She masterminded the whole thing and you just gotta take that in for a minute and let your mind be blown by the scientific magnitude of this little family experiment.

The planetarium show about black holes is on the agenda for 3:30. Your favorite lady has it timed so you and the kids learn the order of the planets in the space exhibit before entering the auditorium for the best seats in the house.

You’re a pawn in her game, but this is your moment. The planetarium is a 30-minute break in an easy chair.  Check…mate.  Family leverage is all about having the best queen on the board.