Ever wonder how many children that family down the street actually claim as their own? Clearly this curiosity has sprung from them being deviant and straying from the standard 1.2 child household. Well, now there's good news. There are universal tell-tale signs that can be formulaically used to determine the number of children in any given household. This is pretty in-depth, over-your-head kind of science, so try to follow along.

## Step One

Mosey on down and pretend to be looking for your dog that ran away. While in the driveway, casually peer into their car and use the following formula to come up with a base number.

## p

(abeing the number of animal crackers) and (b being the number of board books) and (c being the number of car seats) and (s being the number of colorful, unidentifiable stains) and (j being the number of loose Justin Bieber CDs floating around) and (p being the number of caffeinated beverage containers it takes to keep mom running):

## (n)

{4a + 2+ c+ (/3)+ 3 j} / = (n)umber of children

## Step Two

While down there, ask for a glass of water. Sneak a peek into their front closet and use the following formula to proof the base number acquired in step one.

## o

( being the number of coats) and ( being the number of boots) and (being the number of hats) and ( being the number of individual sports equipment) and ( being the number of overdue library books) and (hbeing the number of pieces of loose Halloween candy scattered about) and (being the number of overdue homework assignments that slipped out of bookbags):

## o = n

{+ 1.96792b+ (h/1.34) + (s/2.3)} /h] / 2o = n

As you can see, the formulas are becoming much more complex in order to come up with a valid answer. Determining family size requires more hard-core mathematics than does even the most acute business acumen*.

Now, on to our final proof.

## Step Three

When they bring you the water, ask for ice. Follow them into the kitchen and try to nonchalantly survey their refrigerator. This is the queen mother source of all data.

## f

( being the number of report cards) and ( being the number of scribbled pictures) and (being the number of items on the massive shopping list) and ( being the number of photos of children) and ( being the number of parking tickets) and (abeing the number of colorful magnetic alphabet letters) and (being the number of sticky fingerprints):

## = n∞

{+ Ω

s+ (l/Σ) + (p x β)} /t] x 2f/

= n∞

There you have it! It's pretty basic, although a far cry from the prehistoric* scratchings on the walls of caves. Now that you have determined the number of children, bake π (3.14159265359) cookies for each of them and apologize for being so nosey.

(deviant, acumen, and *prehistoric were words my friend challenged me to work into this story. Take that, BFF Patricia.)

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