Doing the Math

Yesterday morning CC and I were sitting at the table, improving our minds via the internets on our laptops after the kids had gone to school. This week I came across a really funny blog that I started following, and then it got picked up on Freshly Pressed. I was reading the follow-up post out loud to CC because it was totally cracking me up. I clicked back twice on my browser and Freshly Pressed refreshed.

And there was Brickie, staring up at me with his purple curlicue and really goddamn big smile.

I cracked up all over again.

Wow and thanks are all I have to say. Because really, The Good Greatsby is way funnier than me and you should read his acceptance post. I tried to commission him to write my FP follow-up post but he’s wisely put multiple layers of protection in between his greatness and everything else, and he wasn’t willing to be paid in candy, which I feel is remarkably short-sighted of him.

Y’all left me a billion comments and I think that’s way cool. I am reading them, and checking out your stuff.

#5 is our resident math genius. He assured me, when I presented him with yesterday’s statistics (even though I claimed they were “just numbers” and refused to say anything else), that I got forty times the best traffic I’ve ever had.

I would use a calculator, but the kids have broken them all. I could find one on my computer, but I believe him for two reasons:

1) One time we came home from work and saw that the kids had been outside drawing with chalk on the driveway. Upon closer inspection we discovered that it was completely covered in numbers. The powers of ten, to be precise. It’s a rather large driveway. The babysitter mentioned that while they were all outside #5 disappeared. He had finished filling in our driveway and had started in on the next door neighbor’s. He was six at this time.

2) At the beginning of this school year, I was checking all of #5’s homework every day when he finished with it. One day I paused to check the math sheet he brought me in between loads of laundry and told him that all were correct except the last one. I carried on folding clothes. He came back and said, “What’s wrong with it?” and I snipped, “It’s the wrong answer.” I went back downstairs to switch laundry again. He came into the laundry room. “But which part of it is wrong?” and I snapped, “The answer part! The answer part is wrong!” It was typical early 3rd grade stuff, adding up a series of three numbers that were in the ten thousands. Finally he came back to me and said, “I’ve added these up every way I know how and still get the same answer.” So I looked at it again, and of course he was right. Because when I did it I didn’t carry the one.

There are moments as a parent when you can’t hide your assholery, and there’s only one thing to say.

I said, “Don’t ever let me check your math homework again.”

I have to break it to him tomorrow that he’s doing our taxes this year.


32 thoughts on “Doing the Math

  1. Oh yes, we’ve all that experience – being *shock, horror* WRONG! If there is one thing we hate as a parent, it is being wrong! I should have perhaps explained – while I am now a stepmother of 4, I did raise 2 in an earlier life, so I have certainly experienced that. Sadly, not over maths which would have been a relief when I think about it now.

  2. Assholery. My favorite new term.

    Teaching #5 to quadruple-check his work by pointing out that a correct answer was incorrect is brilliant. That’s parenting, baby.

  3. Hahahha…I suck at math, told the kids from grade one, someone else was gonna have to help them, I was not the girl for the job…luckily they have never needed me to help 🙂

  4. Oh, yes. I always forget to carry that damn one! Math. Pssbbbt.

    Enjoy your FP greatness and all the traffic it brings, so exciting (but then it all goes away slowly and miserably and you start to question yourself all over again and think, how can I possibly follow up with another equally brilliant post?! the pressure, oh the pressure!!) 😉 But seriously, enjoy it!

      1. Ha! That’s good. My husband never reads my blog. He thinks blogging is right up there with facebooking: he just doesn’t “get it” and never will. Can’t say as I blame him!

  5. Hahahaha. Assholery. I know I definitely have my assholery mom moments. We are entitled to those though, right?

    1. I try to pass their questions off to CC as often as possible, because he remembers more than me, and he can always turn anything into a history lesson. Once #2 asked for new shoes at dinner and got a 20-minute lecture on the Revolutionary War.

  6. Too funny. I am sure I would be having those moments – math is NOT my strong suit. Luckily my mom (Grandma) lives less than a mile away and is a retired math teacher. She will be checking homework! Love your blog!

      1. Skype? Grammy may not know what that is! All I know is that my 9 year old nephew drives his parents crazy trying to do his math – Mom can look at him sideways & he does everything correctly & tries to race her to see who gets the correct answer first.

  7. I’m not a mother but I’ve had these experiences as a nanny. The child I watched for 7 years increasingly became way smarter than I am so helping him with homework became a battle of wits, ‘didn’t they teach you ‘that’ in college? What did you learn in college? OK, I’m an idiot! Now shut up and do your homework!
    PS. Thanks for subscribing to my blog! My family doesn’t even do that.

  8. Admitting you made a mistake on his math homework is opening the door to his questioning you on all the other things parents get wrong. He’s not supposed to start thinking he’s smarter than you until he’s twelve or thirteen.

  9. Well, it’s official: yours is the only “mom” blog I will read. I realize that I just declared that like it was a big Thing when really it’s just a break from my aversion to mommyblogs. Still, I feel like this is big. I love reading your stuff. Clicking “subscribe.”

Comment. It gives me a reason not to clean my house.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s