Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"There's nothing wrong with my verbal skills. It only seems that way because my math skills are so high." - Dilbert, Dilbert


The Boy, hard at work designing his Q-32 Space Modulator©.

I got home tonight and The Boy was in trouble again. I say again, since previously he had said a “bad word” at school. Dunno where The Boy might have heard it, unless of course The Boy actually listens to the things The Mrs. says when I step on her foot. The Boy’s biggest mistake? Telling a fib about it. Never, never, never (that’s three negatives, so it still means never) cross The Mrs. with a fib.

Anyhow, The Boy had learned his lesson and confessed his latest transgression. Instead of the previous punishment of bread, water, and no heat for two weeks, The Boy’s current punishment is a 72 hour ban on television. Another hint? The Mrs. is the toughest parole officer in the world.

Having been briefed on the situation at the front door, I walked into the kitchen and The Boy was diligently working on math problems. It seems that math is actually very fun for some segment of twisted little seven-year-olds, and we have one of them. He was doing a page of addition and subtraction problems when I walked in.

I watched for a bit. The Boy noticed that the problems were linked, i.e., 8+7=___ was right next to 8+___=15 (if this part confuses you, remember that this isn’t in metric, it’s US units). The first answer took a few seconds, the second answer was almost instantaneous. I wasn’t going to let him off that easy.

I started asking questions.

Me: “What’s 15-14?”

The Boy: “1.” (implicit “Duh” was visible in his eyes. Old people are soooo stupid.)

Me: “What’s 15-15?”

The Boy: “That’s easy, 0.”

Me: (relishing the moment) “What’s 15-16?”

The Boy: (long, long pause) “Virtually nothing.”

Muahahahaha . . . he had fallen right into my trap.

The Mrs. craftily asked him to draw a number line. He drew:

[----------->
0 1 2 3 4 5

In a move that would have gotten me burned at the stake back in the good old days of the Spanish Inquisition (1963, I think it was), I extended the number line to the left. I drew in negative numbers. Negative numbers – they’re the devil’s tool!

As the comprehension of the magnitude of my heresy became apparent, I could see the wild, hunted look in The Boy’s eye. I could imagine his thoughts, “Hey, wait a minute! My first grade teacher has NEVER mentioned that. Does this possibly mean there are other things that these smelly old people might know that I don’t?”

All The Boy said (channeling Keanu Reeves from The Matrix) was, “Whoa.”

His gourd was baked.

Dude.

I’m guessing now that The Boy will continue to get into trouble at school, if nothing else so The Mrs. and I can continue to unravel the mathematical secrets of the universe for him. Now, I wonder, is that a negative?
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5 Comments:

Blogger Jeffro said...

You'll be condemning your son to the same fate as Scout because Atticus had already taught her to read beyond her "education" at school.

When y'all get past Calculus into Differential Equations and thus into non Euclidean Geometry - well, maybe you went too far.....

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Oz. said...

So, one evening at a friend's house I was told to integrate 1/x dx...

What is it with the desire to watch people's heads explode?

3:22 PM  
Anonymous CWH said...

I think the last answer is "ln X from a to b", but I digress.

We seem to have a older boy that doesn't mind doing the math tables, but his sister on the other hand would rather have her eyes put out that work on math tables. Could it be a boy thing?

I just caught up with all the posts I missed, sat here laughing.

8:02 AM  
Blogger shawnkielty said...

virtually nothing, is a seemingly reasonable conclusion ... dude.

9:31 AM  
Blogger John said...

jeffro,
Possibly, but he's already in the advanced reading group. We actually (on purpose) didn't try to push him, then, lo, the vortex opens and now we throw book after book after mathematical problem after mathematical problem into it. His favorite channel? The History Channel. He's a broken, broken seven-year-old.

oz,
Was I drinking?

cwh,
It is a boy thing, just like the whole cars are cool, people are boring thing.

shawnkielty,
I agree. It's not fair messing with his nugget that way. But, there is SO MUCH MORE FUN TO COME.

Muahahahahaha.

6:04 PM  

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