Preschool Mathematician

Vivi, bless her heart (and mind), is obsessed with Julia’s homework. Thing is, she can do all the spelling/reading homework just as well as Julia, so that’s actually a breeze. But math is much more complicated, and so she gets awfully frustrated trying to figure out, say, how to work out “10 + 10” or “21 – 10” – even though she can readily do easier problems.

That doesn’t stop her, though. While Julia was doing her math homework tonight, Vivi grabbed a sheet of paper and wrote out a bunch of random numbers – 56, 75, 57, 81, NOP. (No, I didn’t understand how the last one was a number, either. And, endearingly, she writes all her 7’s backwards.) Then, she proudly pointed at the first one and asked me, “What equals 56, Daddy?” I wasn’t sure what she meant, though I assumed that she did actually mean what “equals” actually means. “What do you mean, honey? Lots of things equal 56, like 46 plus 10, or 55 plus 1.”

Instant rage. “NO, DADDY! WHAT EQUALS FIFTY-SIX? EQUALS IT! YOU KNOW WHAT EQUALS IS!” I weakly tried to contain the bomb. “One number can equal lots of different numbers, honey. Like 1 plus 3 equals 4, or 2 plus 2 equals 4.” I knew this wasn’t going to make a difference to her, but I had to try.

She threw her pencil across the table, crumpled up the sheet of paper, and screamed, “You don’t know anything, Daddy! Never talk to me again!”

Just then Shannon swooped in and gave her a kindergarten-level math workbook. Vivi instantly cheered up and got cracking – counting the number of items in various sets, doing one-digit addition and subtraction, etc. Poor kid needs to let her brain catch up with her ambition.

3 thoughts on “Preschool Mathematician”

  1. Oh those moments are the worst – and nothing you can say as a parent will stop the rage. As soon as I read her question, my upper lip started sweating, my eyeballs started twitching, and I was looking for the EXIT sign.

  2. i read this aloud to my son it was so sweetly hilarious.

    blowing and drifting is one of my favorite places. 🙂

  3. I love not only your description of what she did (we’ve all been there with our kids, in agony), but what you did to try to save her from herself, and how Shannon saved both of you. What a wonderful, loving family snapshot.

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