Monthly Archives: September 2013

Mad Math Skillz

I was telling my husband about my day recently, and happened to mention that when a seventh grader asked me how much 7 x 7 was, I told her she had to figure that out on her own. Since both boys are always listening, even when we think they aren’t, BB#2 jumped in to the conversation:

BB#2 <shocked>: She didn’t know 7 x 7?

Me <teasing>: No, do you?

BB#2: <pause> Let me think.

<proceeds to count on his fingers, while husband and I exchange looks, wondering what he is going to come up with>

BB#2: 56.

Me <admittedly floored>: Well, actually, that’s 7 x 8…So, if 7 x 8 is 56, what’s 7 less than that?

BB#2: Oh, 49.

<husband and I exchange stunned looks, while BB#2 laughs and laughs>

Have I mentioned this boy is not yet 6, and just started first grade? We already knew he was able to add and subtract two and three digit numbers in his head, thanks to his passion for Pokemon cards (which are hugely motivating for reading too, by the way). And I know, I know, every parent says “I know every parent says their children are smart, but…” But, I feel pretty certain that I didn’t have any clue what multiplication was until it was introduced at school in the third grade. Sure, he used his fingers, and initially had the wrong answer, but I’m still impressed he knows the concept behind multiplication and figured out what seven groups of seven is. We definitely talk math when we can around the house, but we’ve certainly never sat him down and tried to teach him times tables.

So I do have to wonder, when he tells us he doesn’t enjoy school, could it be because learning to add and subtract numbers to 20 is just not interesting enough?

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My Kid Just Said (Part 29)

BB#1: Mom, you should never have let BB#2 play with your smartphone.

Me: Oh, why not?

BB#1: Because you got it when he was two.

Me: And?

BB#1: And, you aren’t supposed to let kids under four play with smartphones.

Me: Ah, is that what the magazine says?

BB#1: Yes.

Note to self: remind husband not to pick up parenting magazines at the airport, even if they are free.

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My Kid Just Said (Part 28)

“I think when I die, I might come back as a different animal, a bunny maybe. And then maybe I’ll get eaten by a wolf, and then come back as a wolf…” BB#2, almost 6 years old. Just a typical out-of-the-blue statement.

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My Kid Just Said (Part 27)

“Why does the old lady have a cat? Is there a stereotype of old ladies that have cats?” BB#1, 9 years old, about one of the new series of Lego minifigures (an older woman with a cat).

Media literacy at work, folks.

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Twenty Questions (2013 version)

Last year I asked the boys twenty questions. Now that BB#1 is 9 (today!), and BB#2 about to turn 6, I asked them again. Some of the answers have changed, and some have not.

1.What is your favourite color?

BB#1: Either purple, pink or green.

BB#2: Pink.

2. What is your favourite toy?

BB#1: Either Lego, MegaBlocks or Minecraft.

BB#2: Minecraft.

3. What is your favourite fruit?

BB#1: Blueberries.

BB#2: I don’t really have one.

4. What is your favourite TV show?

BB#1: Animaniacs.

BB#2: Um, (“actually write the um part”), Ben 10.

5. What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch?

BB#1: Bacon and egg and chicken and all the other meats on a sandwich with cheese melted on it.

BB#2: Cereal.

6. What is your favourite outfit?

BB#1: I don’t have a favourite outfit, because it’s either my green hoodie with my new [blue] jeans, or my black jeans and my purple hoodie. With a T-shirt under it, I don’t really care which one.

BB#2: I don’t have one.

7. What is your favourite game?

BB#1: Minecraft.

BB#2:Minecraft.

8. What is your favourite snack?

BB#1: Cookies?

BB#2:  Fish crackers.

9. What is your favourite animal?

BB#1: Crested gecko.

BB#2: Chipmunk.

10. What is your favourite song?
BB#1: “Mine it Out” (Minecraft parody song).

BB#2: That one we heard on the way to the cottage, with the lightning thing. (Turns out he meant “Electric Avenue” by Eddy Grant).

11. What is your favourite book?

BB#1: Percy Jackson, the last book. The Last Olympian.

BB#2: Doggies by Sandra Boynton, because it’s the easiest for me.

12. Who is your best friend?

BB#1: Sasha.

BB#2: Andrew (who is actually a close friend of his big brother).

13. What is your favourite sport?

BB#1: Swimming or skiing.

BB#2: I have none.

14. What is your favourite thing to do outside?
BB#1: Play Spy Allan [a game he plays during recess at school. I think Allan may be a classmate…?]

BB#2: Monkey bars.

15. What is your favourite drink?

BB#1: Either root beer, Pepsi or Coke. [which he’s still not allowed to drink]

BB#2: Fruitopia.

16. What is your favourite holiday?

BB#1: Christmas.

BB#2: Halloween.[which makes the fact his tonsillectomy has finally been scheduled for October 30 really, really bad timing!]

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?

BB#1: Books and stuffed animals.

BB#2: My stuffies.

18. What is your favourite thing to eat for breakfast?

BB#1: Egg sandwich with bacon and ham.

BB#2: Cereal.

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday?

BB#1: Steak, the most expensive kind, cooked properly with Barbarian steak salt. [which is in fact what we’ll be having tonight!]

BB#2: Pizza from Pizza Nova.

20. What do you want to be when you grow up?

BB#1: Someone who owns a lot of businesses, and an inventor.

BB#2: I haven’t decided.

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The Back to School Post

It’s the last day of summer vacation, and the feeling is bittersweet. I confess: despite the commercials, I’m not excited about sending the boys off every day. I’m already looking forward to Christmas vacation with them (now, when we are stuck indoors together for two weeks in the winter, I may be singing a different tune!)

This is going to be a big year for us. BB#1 is no longer a primary student: he starts grade four tomorrow, and turns nine the next day. Nine! And BB#2 is off to grade one, all day, every day, all French every day. This is likely going to be a tough adjustment for him. It won’t help that he’s on a waiting list for a tonsillectomy, and will miss up to a week or two of school early on in the year.

And it’s also back to school for me: I already have a couple days of occasional teaching lined up. I’m excited to finally be getting my teaching career off the ground, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit anxious, just like my kids. I know it will be great experience, and I am very grateful to have been hired as an OT in these tough times, though I admit I’m also still fantasizing about the day I have my own classroom. But with my husband’s travel schedule and BB#2’s illness, supply teaching and freelancing writing and editing are probably for the best for us right now.

It’s been an amazing summer, though also not quite what I had planned in a lot of ways (life is what happens, right?) Back to routine tomorrow. Wish us luck…

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