Monday, April 22, 2013

English Needs a Word for This: The Rule of K

The Rule of K: noun.  A principle that states if you think something definitely will, definitely won't, or are surprised that something hasn't happened, the opposite will magically become true.  Similar but unrelated to Murphy's Law.

I think we've all been confronted with the idea that saying, or even thinking, that something definitely will or won't happen somehow causes the opposite to be true.  For instance, if I look at the forecast and say, "It's not going to rain for our picnic," you'd better believe a hurricane is going to form right on top of us.

Of course, logically we know this line of thinking is silly and our words and thoughts do nothing.  But we still keep from saying or thinking it.  Husband has a very specific look he gives me when I break the Rule of K.  It's usually followed by him saying, "Shut up."  As in, "It won't rain if you take your MG out for a drive."  "Shut up."  He's a big believer in the Rule of K, even if it didn't have a name until now.

About a week and a half ago, Philosopher Child's best friend came down with a nasty virus.  He missed several days of school before returning.  When he went back to school, he and Philosopher Child were practically attached at the hip as usual.  The night after his return to school, he relapsed and spiked another fever, causing him to miss more school.

This led to stupid universe-altering thought number one: My own child has not been sick in a while.

A week passed, and Philosopher Child showed no signs of illness.  A this point I figured he wouldn't, by some miracle, be coming down with the illness himself (stupid universe-altering thought number 2).  Then came the night where previously mentioned, previously ill Best Friend was spending the night to celebrate Philosopher Child's 9th birthday.  His parents came by to drop him off and to look at our garden.  They were considering starting a similar one.  Best Friend's mother and I chatted for a little bit, and then we both -- both of us, equally guilty -- said the universe-altering stupid thing of universe-altering stupid things.

"Isn't it amazing that Philosopher Child never got sick with this?"

Facepalm.  Head desk.  Eight shades of idiot.

Anyway, the sleepover got underway.  There was a fabulous dinner and an ice cream pie from Bruster's.  There were Legos and TV and snacks.  It was great.  At 10pm, I told the kids to go to bed.  At 11pm they finally went to sleep.  Just before 6am, everyone was up again, ready for breakfast.

About an hour after getting up, Philosopher Child came to me and said he had a sore throat and headache.  I didn't think too much of it.  Our weather has been crazy and it's not unusual for us to get headaches and sore throats as a result.  I advised Philosopher Child to drink a glass of water and lay down for a few minutes.  Within two minutes he started crying that his head suddenly hurt a lot.  I took his temperature.  Yep, fever.  I sent him to bed and called Best Friend's mom.

"You know how we were talking about how amazing it was that he didn't get what your little boy had?" I said into the phone.  She started laughing.  She knew exactly what I meant and was at our house a few minutes later.

Up until that moment, the sleepover had been very successful.  No major fights, only had to break up roughhousing twice (pillow fights + 2 kids with glasses = no), everyone played nicely (for the most part).  Our little guest was even happy to eat our whole food dinner: roasted chicken, green beans, and red potato wedges.

And of course, we proved the Rule of K.

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