I will be the first one to admit my math skills are woefully lacking. I can balance a checkbook. I can develop … and sometimes actually adhere to … a household budget. And kudos to me that I can even take a spin through the grocery store without catastrophic results. But give me third grade fractions, and it’s quite obvious I’m out in the weeds.
I rationalize that if God had wanted me to be better at math, he wouldn’t have given us Bill Gates and the miracle of Excel.
Oldest son helped youngest son with his math homework last night before I came home from work. Oldest son is far infinitely more advanced than his mother in math. He is one smart guy. And I’m not just saying it because I’m his mom. He is.
Did I mention he’s also tall, dark, and handsome? He’s all that too.
I wanted to check the homework, not because I didn’t trust that the 19-year old knew what he was doing. Rather for the fact that sometimes the 19-year old forgets what it’s like to be 9 years old and his explanations tend to tickle around the edges of being over his brother’s wee head.
Okay. Let’s get real. Over my head too.
There. I admitted it. My kid is smarter than me.
But that’s a secret.
So I look at one of the problems that went something like this …
Maura bought a dozen eggs at the store. On the way home she fell and broke 2/3 of them. How many eggs broke?
I ask youngest son, ‘Show me how you got the answer of 8?’. He immediately looks to older brother with wide, pleading eyes. Mom sighs. And pulls out a piece of paper, pretending she knows how she’s going to figure it out.
Rule #1. Never let ’em see you sweat. They can smell fear.
They so can.
I draw 12 circles on a piece of paper. I then proceed to draw lines after every 3rd circle, dividing the circles into 4 groups. I immediately realize I’ve just totally confused myself.
Hmm. Where was I going with this?
Oldest son smiles indulgently. ‘Mom, that’s fourths. You’ve divided that by fourths, not thirds.’
Mr. Smarty Pants.
Oldest son says, ‘You take the 12 eggs, divide them by 3 (or thirds), then multiply by 2 for the 2/3. You get 8.’
Umm. Yeah. What he said.
Geesh. Life can be so complicated sometimes.