Engineers are engineers from a very early age. One non-engineer wife of an engineer put it this way. “He was an engineer long before he got the degree.”  Very few engineers weren’t “engineers” when they were pre-teens. And some who don’t end up being engineers may show engineering tendencies and worry his or her parents.

A number of years ago, my daughter gave me quite a scare. I was commenting, possibly complaining, about all the laundry that builds up so quickly in our home. My 9-year-old daughter stopped me and did a very engineering analysis of the situation by running the numbers. She explained that with five people, each wearing a shirt, pants, underwear, and socks for each day of the week (with the possible exception of her older brother), that would mean:

5 x (1+1+1+2) x 7 = 175 articles of clothes per week

I stopped her before she went through the explanation of towels, sheets and kitchen articles that should be estimated and added to this total, not to mention days when more than one shirt or one pair of socks are worn. I definitely stopped her before she got to translating this number to volume.

Is engineering in her future? At this point, it doesn’t look like it, but she gave me a huge cause for concern for a while.