The Movement of Sticky Things

I had an epiphany last night. Hold onto your hats, folks, because it’s a big one. I mean it. This was not one of those little realizations that make you cry anything so mundane as “Eureka!” We’re talking about a world-changing philosophical revelation. Are you ready for it? Okay… I know the question for the ultimate answer to life, the universe, and everything. I have solved the answer of  42.

What is the minimum number of times in a day a person can move sticky things from one place to another?

Maybe this isn’t everyone’s experience to the same degree as it is mine, but some days I feel like I do nothing but transfer a variety of sticky substances from one place to another. Consider my day yesterday:

I got up and took a shower, during which I applied one sticky thing (shampoo) to my hair and another (soap) to my body before removing them from my body. After I showered, I made breakfast, which involved transferring a sticky thing (peanut butter) to toast and then transferring the now-sticky toast from my plate to my mouth, where the digestive process then carried it to my stomach and…so on. After that, I put together a snack for work, which involved taking some sticky stuff (cottage cheese) out of one container and putting it to another, from which I later removed it again. I then brushed my teeth, which of course involves putting a sticky substance onto my toothbrush into order to move the sticky stuff all around my mouth in a veritable mosh pit of stick-stuff-motion until transferring the mixed-up sticky stuff into the stick, whence it was drained with water.

All of this happened in the first forty-five minutes of my day.

As for the rest of the day, I had my kids doing a painting project, which of course involves not only helping them with the moving of the sticky paint onto the paper bag vests we were making, but also cleaning up the sticky mess that inevitably ends up everywhere. We made hot cocoa after our gym time, and if you don’t think that making and drinking hot cocoa almost defines the phrase “movement of sticky stuff,” I’m sorry your childhood was no fun. In between the cocoa, the paint, and the plethora of small ideas that must be midwifed into existence by tape and glue, there were the snacks. Yogurt, oatmeal, apple juice… Seriously, do they even make snacks that kids can’t make into a sticky, sticky mess?

When I left work, I couldn’t really leave work because I had prep work to do for Thursday’s treasure hunt/archeology dig and Wednesday’s volcano project, which respectively involved the crafting and movement of two homemade sticky things: plaster and air-dry clay. And when I had covered my kitchen in flour, cornstarch, baking soda, water, and the sticky mess such combinations inevitably result in, I then had to apply yet another sticky substance (dishsoap) to the matter to make it go away.

I hardly need to mention that dinner and the resulting dishes had yet to be accomplished, but you can trust me when I tell you that many sticky things were moved multiple times in the process of transferring food from fridge to pan to plate to mouth. I would never lie to you about how many times in a day I move sticky things. I just don’t need to exaggerate to make my point: my life revolves around moving sticky things from one place to another.

It is possible that people who don’t work with children and who have servants could get through a day without moving sticky things as many as 42 times, depending on how the talking heads eventually decide this number should be calculated. I believe, however, that it is quite possible people who are deprived of the joy of moving sticky things may be missing out on the best experiences of life, the universe, and everything.

4 thoughts on “The Movement of Sticky Things

  1. I have a friend who refers to children routinely as “sticky”. She was pleased when she met Declan in person because, at least at that point in time, “he didn’t look the least bit sticky.” :)


  2. So this why you went to Harvard? To contemplate the movement of “sticky”? Now given my age could you calculate my lifetime transference of “sticky”? You certainly write amusing stories and are very busy being creative with the little one.


  3. If you were 10 years earlier with your sticky revelation, then perhaps you would have invented sticky notes, and become rich.


  4. I had to chuckle because every mother or teacher of young people I’ve ever talked to has said in one form or another that she was tired of having a body ‘stuck’ to her. Kids are inherently ‘sticky’.
    Your husband used to abhor ‘sticky’. Even when he was very little if he got frosting or luscious cream filling(something most kids would just stick into their mouths) stuck to his fingers he would hold his hands out and whimper/fuss/howl. So that is just another reason the two of you are such a good match…an awareness of ‘sticky’. Love you.


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