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On Sunday, we went to a pool party. It was a lot of fun. We were the first guests to arrive, and so at the beginning, there were only two kids there: our host, and the Kid. The Kid asked me to go swimming with her.

We got down to the pool, and our host informed us that the water was cold. He was slowly making his way in via the stairs. The Kid was hovering near the edge, reluctant to get in. I had to do something.

Then I saw a big float. It was about the size of a double mattress. I plopped myself down in the middle of it and floated out into the pool. The Kid wanted that float. I told her she could have it when she got it from me, but that I’d use science against her.

The battle began: me and my inertia vs. The Kid and her energy. 

She figured it out quickly enough. “Mom! Your butt is too big!”

“Yup,” I agreed. “And my big butt is pushing down the float in the middle, making me very stable. In order to get me off this float, you’re going to have to find a way to change that.” By this time, she was perched on the edge of the float, kneeling above me to try and make me move. So I tossed her casually into the water, demonstrating her relative instability.

“See? I understand physics, and I’m using it against you. Science.” 

Luckily, kids are natural scientists, and the Kid embarked on a series of experiments. She pushed. She pulled. She rolled. She jumped. Again and again, I was able to casually push her off the raft. Once I even flipped her. But she kept coming.

I channeled my inner Bill Nye, “Sorry. Science is not on your side.”

“I hate science. Science is stupid.”

I channeled my inner Neil deGrasse Tyson, “That’s the thing about science. It’s true whether you believe in it or not.”

Eventually, she was able to get enough water under me to act as a lubricant and then raise up one edge of the raft so that I slid off into the water. A little while after that I left the pool, and an epic battle continued for the next hour or two as more kids arrived and each tried to keep control of the raft. I was excited to see that our host and the Kid were employing some of the strategies I had shown them, keeping their weight low and centered so they were hard to dislodge.

I’m pretty sure that was the nerdiest thing I’ve ever done.

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