" Cheaper by the Dozen", based on a real-life story of the Gilbreth family, is a fantastic book. This hilarious comedy about a family with a dozen children kept me in stitches until the end! This family, run like a well oiled machine, took me on Sunday rides through the country, battles in the family court, summers at the sea, Father's theories on motion study, and the economic removal of the whole families tonsils. I loved it! I find it truly amazing. Not only did the family boast twelve children, but they all learned to speak foreign languages, touch typing, mental arithmetic, and even Morse Code- all because their father worked out dozens of ingenious ways to motivate them- although often it was quite reluctantly on their part.
I had many laugh out loud moments, and at times would have enjoyed being a part of this large and loving family, or perhaps raising one of my own in the same manner…imagine that! It probably could never happen. I can't imagine living with twelve brothers and sisters and getting along! Actually, I would not call it getting along; I would call it survival, by jimgo!
The Gilbreth family of twelve red-haired, freckle-faced children parented by efficiency experts and pioneers in the field of motion study, Lillian and Frank, were a bit eccentric and extremely funny. I can still remember one of the lines a child blurted out at the dinner table "Please, we are NOT in the mood for an organ recital." This was the standard reprimand for belching in the family and never intended for public airing. I also enjoyed the part when one of the children said to a dinner guest, "Is this of general interest?" Although these twelve children were highly disciplined by their father, (mother, for the most part, would just agree with father) in a couple instances they were
able to catch father off guard, like when the children would continually ask him "Father can you touch type?" "No," he would reply, "but I can teach it!"
Nothing was considered more of a sin than wasting valuable time, that is why the father, Frank timed himself trying to go as fast as he possible can with almost everything. Every movement of everyday must be functional. He timed himself buttoning his shirt to see which way was faster, top-bottom, or bottom-top. He timed himself shaving to see which way took longer, using to brushes to apply the shaving cream, or one. He found that two were faster. He also experimented which way was faster, using two razors or one. He found that one was faster, because with two he cut himself so many times it took him twice as much time to cover up the cuts. As father once said: "There is one right way to do everything, and that right way is the best way. That is true whether it is making an automobile, eating an apple, or raising a family!" This type of motion study and time management could be very helpful in today's economy, especially on a smaller scale. I can think of a few instances in my own work place where a small amount of time...