Entropy, insofar as the scientific community is concerned, can be generally stated as the tendency for all matter and energy in the universe to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity. A similar definition, and one that is slightly more applicable to me, states it as being a measure of the disorder or randomness in a closed system.
Now, apprehensions about the safety of our personal property (not to mention our personal persons) being what they are, combined with a healthy desire to maintain a comfortable household temperature, my wife and I have a habit of keeping our doors closed. Especially this time of year. And let me tell you, the past seven months has seen a marked increase in the level of entropy that has incorporated itself into our closed system of a home.
Having a baby will do that.
Amy and I had not yet had the opportunity to take our 'married' mantles in to be drycleaned before having a matching pair of 'parents' mantles foisted upon us to wear over top. (It was a very willing foisting, don't get me wrong; we just didn't expect such expeditious success in our initial procreative endeavours.) And there was a rather large lull before the storm hit. And since we're so early into it, I'm quite certain that the storm is still only warming up.
The lull is a lifesaver too. It allows imminent parents (while they are still immanent parents) to prepare - physically, mentally and emotionally - for the new journey of parenthood. The lull starts with the nine month period of gestation. Speaking from the man's perspective, it allowed me to slowly adjust to changes in my wife: physical, mental and emotional changes. Slow yet inexorable as the growth of the life that was within her. The physical state of our house was altered to welcome the new presence into it, much as our selves were being altered to welcome the same. The more conscious and intentional both of these changes are, the better.
The storm broke immediately when my wife woke me up near to one AM one morning with a calm yet premonitory shake of my shoulder. "I think it's time." This was a very quick squall; for as our new baby entered into the world amidst a flurry of activity and excitement, so too did it quickly taper off to a level of routine for which adjustment was not terribly difficult. Once we arrived home, less than 24 hours after birth, we quickly established a convention of nurse, burp, sleep, change, nurse, burp, sleep, change... I took two weeks off work in order to assist in the adjustment to our new domestic situation. I credit our efforts as new parents for the relative ease of that first transitory phase and, at least as much, the wonderfully mellow temperament of our firstborn son.
Getting into that sort of routine tames the Entropic monster for a time. The nursery is arranged and ordered just so, daily habits are adjusted and become second nature and a dawning realisation of the new relationship you are about to have with your spouse slowly starts to creep into you psyche. All of this is then washed over with the rose-tinted patina of the beaming pride of new parents. Hey!! Come and see what we made. Ain't he cool?! My wife and I were the poster-children for the term, 'shit eating grin'.
Now, after that first lull, storm-squall and lull again, it was not long before we realised the darkling shadows on the horizon. It wasn't just a new tempest come to try our hand; it was global climate change, and it was coming to stay. And it was bringing with it such chaos and disorder as had heretofore been strangers to our abode. (There is a part of me that is quite glad we got a dog just over a year before having a baby. In a small way it prepared us, or at least me, for the entrance of a living being that depended upon us for survival and had little to no regard for its hygiene or indirect effect on the environment in which it lived.)
Now, only seven months into our new adventure, we have unheard of volumes of laundry to clean (our son soils our clothes nearly as much as his own), an ever-increasing number of toys to administer and then replace, sporadic and spontaneous bodily excretions to tend to, revolving moods to placate, and constant acclimatization to the daily fluctuation in our infant son's development. Most more experienced parents, I'm quite sure, will smile tolerantly and perhaps admonish us of the traps and pitfalls that lay ahead. Heck, our boy has yet to crawl, take his first step, go to school, break a bone, get grounded, experience heartbreak... It's only just begun for us.
For me, the key ingredient has been acceptance of the unavoidable and irreversable increase in the level of entropy that has incorporated itself into our home. My daily struggle with the level of disorder in my life needs must include a revision of the amount of entropy that is now acceptable. And that revision is going to have to be revised on a regular basis. Cripes, my method of dealing with disorder is becoming entropic! Craziness!! (This coming from a man who cringes at the sight of bath towels lying crumpled on the floor and not in their rightful place on the towel racks, just so.)
And to sign off, nobody dishes the entropy shiznit like that dope master of the mike: MC Hawking...
"That's entropy or E-N-T-R-O to the P to the Y,
the reason why the sun will one day all burn out and die.
Order from disorder is a scientific rarity,
allow me to explain it with a little bit more clarity.
Did I say rarity? I meant impossibility,
at least in a closed system there will always be more entropy."
Like it or not, in my life, there will always be more entropy.