## Tuesday, June 24, 2008

### Less Is More

"Mama, which number is bigger eighty seven or fifty nine?"

"Eighty seven."

"How come?"

Lately, The Mayor has been obsessed with this line of questioning and has seemed interested in understanding how numbers work.

Eager to help, I found a container of dried chickpeas that I have owned (and moved from house to house) for the last fifteen years.

I
put a handful of the beans on the table and asked The Mayor to count them into piles of ten.

He counted out four piles.

I explained that four tens was forty.

Using a pad and a piece of paper, I lectured on the subject of counting by tens.

I gesticulated.

I waved my arms.

I was incredible, amazing, stupendous even!

The Mayor pushed all forty chickpeas into one pile.

"Let's play a different game now, Mama," he said.

"Okay, Mayor."

I put my pad down and gave him my full attention.

"Which is bigger, seventy four or twenty three?"

At which point I would have stuck a fork in my face. And I have. Because I've been there.

Rachael said...

Ahh, kids. Hilarious.

Lotta said...

This has to be a boy thing. Mack (he's 5) can not stop asking me about imaginary challenge matches.

"Mom. Who do you think would win in a fight. A shark or a sting ray?"

Today he asked if I would win if I got into fist fight with my sister in law. Hell yes!

MrsWaltz said...

Does the Mayor have a girlfriend? Because I think he and Pretty Pretty Princess ("Mama? Mama, what's seven....plus....J?") would be perfect for one another.

Oh, wow. Teach that kid some set theory.

The Over-Medicated Housewife said...

Maybe if you try it with jellybeans, the outcome will be different!

JCK said...

Well, you are patient...

Omaha Mama said...

Gah! That's when I, playing the role of mom, say that I am done with that particular line of questioning. Try this one, "You'll understand when you're older!"

*~*Cece*~* said...

So didja stick a video game in his hands and walk away, shaking your head?

jennifer, playgroups are no place for children said...

Well, it was a good effort on your part.

WILLIAM said...

How did you know the peas were chicks and not guys?

Nicole said...

You are not alone! My 4 1/2 year old asks me on a daily basis "which number is bigger..." and all my efforts seem pointless. He is obsessed with the number 100. I was about to grab my jar of chick peas (probably older than yours), then I finished you post. Oh well, kudos for the effort.

Circus Kelli said...

Hee! :)

Aren't kids FUN?!

furiousBall said...

seventy four.

i'm pretty sure... didn't sit down and crunch the numbers, but yeah, i'm going with seventy four.

Kelly said...

Thanks for once again reminding us that as Mother's---we really know nothing!lol;)

amy said...

LOL... Been there. They're pretty sure their parents are just happily wasting their time. Or that we're stalling and really don't know the answer. :)

Jen M. said...

I love the existential/random questions our children ask of us. Love it more when I'm drinking - but all the same it's cute.

Don Mills Diva said...

Heh.

He'll probably wake up in the middle of the night tonight and it will all make sense...

Amanda said...

We need to put The Mayor and my Briar in a room, between his numbers and her letters, we'd have some fine viewing entertainment AND they'd keep each other quite busy.

Mrs. Schmitty said...

DOH!

Sugared Harpy said...

OH lordy, watch out. For my second son, this turned into a lifetime of math "games."

Well now he's 12 and Mama doesn't play them as well as she did when he was 2. I'm a historian, dammit, not a mathematician!

slackermommy said...

See, you knew those chickpeas would come in handy one day.

cryitout said...

I'm as mathematically inclined as the Sugared Harpy, and so I'm kind of hoping you'll provide an update with the answer to the last question. It's killing me.

Deb said...

Snort! Too funny.

Celeste said...

Cute. I found you through Fuelmyblog.

IRISHKAT said...

Yes, yes. I live this daily. And yet we still smile...

AliBlahBlah said...

They should put this post in a book entitled 'so you think you're ready to be a parent'.

Brilliant.

GoteeMan said...

One of my boys did that for a long while... it wasn't so much asking to know - it was testing and interacting...
Now he's 12 and in advanced math... quizzing me from time to time on mathematical equations long since forgotten from my middle-aged brain...
ah, well - better to have smart kids that stupid ones...
J/