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The Follow-Through Formula

The follow-through formula

How long does it take to get 5 minutes of quiet? Today was relatively short at only 20 minutes.

The shorter occupants of our house all decided to make noise during my 5-minute phone call to arrange some details for tomorrow. Despite my admonition to be quiet, the giggling and noise just grew louder.


I decided they owed 5 minutes of quiet to me since they were anything but while I was actually on the phone. Looking back, I should have doubled the time because of their disrespect.

One stipulation is that the 5 minutes of quiet starts when they are quiet, and it is restarted every time they make noise.

We tried separate chairs, but being in the same room together was a problem, so I finally separated the youngsters into opposite corners. A few false starts later, we finally had 5 minutes of actual quiet.

Wow. It's hard to follow through on what I say. And this is just one instance. Multiply that by t amount of times in a day by c amount of kids divided by the amount of coffee (j) in the mother's system.

  • Follow-through effort = f

  • Number of times during the day follow-through is required = t

  • Number of children = c

  • Each pot of coffee, hot or tepid, the mother drank = j

So follow-through effort can be expressed as: f = tc/j

Not doing any math right now because the day isn't over, so I still have some variables to plug into the formula. Follow-through effort will still be happening until 11:00PM--if I'm lucky.

You might be asking why in the world this formula is useful for anybody?

I'm still making up those reasons, so ask me later. The only thing that comes to mind right now is that it would be a useful factor in determining the salary for mom.

Oh, wait, we just do this for free (because we love our kids).

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