Mathematics is the common denominator of physics; it is the infinite in concept formation; it is the friend of any detective worth his salt.
But the real mathematics is in parenting. One child in the household becomes 5 or 7 children suddenly with simply one phone call or a shout -- and it happens so swiftly that you think you must've heard your child say, "Beam 'em over, Scotty."
At noon, the number of dirty dishes in the sink are zero sum. By 12:30, dirty dishes are multiplying over the edge of the sink, threatening you if you come close, like some malevolent Chilean mudslide.
When you last turned the corner, the once-empty laundry basket is now Mount Kilimanjaro, with clothing detritus scattered nearby as if Kilimanjaro sneezed and scattered some of its top across the lowlands.
Over the years, you thought that maybe you'd just bought a toy here and a toy there. Then you enter your child's room and discover not only that you must've had Alzheimer's but that the local Toys R Us has relocated to your darling daughter's room.
Your DVD bookshelves and two tall DVD cases used to have such notables as Casablanca, To Kill a Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice, Shawshank Redemption and Spartacus. Now, when you lean over to take a gander at what you'd like to watch during a quiet evening, you find five editions of SpongeBob Squarepants, seven editions of Scooby Do, 9 editions of Princesses, 4 editions of Little Einsteins, and a hundred or so titles of the various and sundry from the kids section of Best Buy.
Before becoming a parent, the slightest noises in the house could get one's attention. Now Hurricane Katrina could pass through and I'd just smile at her and say, "Ha, you think YOU can make noise! Have you ever heard of CHILDREN?"
My friends who are parents know what I'm talking about. And they probably also know what I mean when I say, "It's crazy, but I love every bit of it."