Thursday, April 29, 2010

Math from an English Major

Okay bloggy friends. Each week, I have big plans to post something each day. I should be able to do it. After all, there are many mom bloggers who have 10+ kids, homeschool them all, grind their own wheat, bake their own bread, yet still manage to crank out daily posts with amazing photography documenting every precious smile from their outrageously adorable offspring. And then there's me.

I have four relatively easy kiddos (and homeschool only two of them), grind only my teeth, buy my bread, and am grateful to capture a photo in which the child is not trying to escape. These other bloggy moms must not sleep. Or perhaps their brilliant homeschooled children are writing the posts for them as an English assignment. Hmmm. I'm going to go with the not-sleeping theory because the latter makes me feel even more inferior.

So I'm going to fess up on why I can't seem to post every day.


Yep. Most of my challenges in life boil down to the fact that I've never been good at math. I actually chose my college major based on what major required the least amount of math. Unfortunately, the career path I have chosen--full-time mom--requires a tremendous amount of math. (I promise to connect the dots here in a minute.)

I've been fine up until the past couple of years. I was able to manage elementary age math. We drilled math facts and practiced timed tests. We've conquered fractions and decimal points. But as my children have grown, so have their numerical needs. It's when the math incorporates letters that I start to get upset. I mean, really. English/language subjects don't use numbers. Why do the math people have to take our beloved alphabet?

So here I am after a long day. The homework is done, the kids are bathed, the dinner dishes are washed. I make my rounds for bedtime prayers and goodnight kisses. I am minutes from sitting down to post some bloggy thoughts on my computer and I hear the words from my 7th and/or 4th grader, "Mom, could you check my math homework?"

Ugh!!! It's like I've been shot in the back. I mean, what do I say, "Sorry kiddo. I'm the cause of the shortage of math DNA in your gene pool, but I'm going to feed you to the algebraic dogs." No. That would be cruel.

So, although I would rather poke my eyes out with a protractor, I spend the rest of my evening working each problem to check for errors. And, unless you want to read word problems from my 7th grader's Saxon math book, that means no post for that night.

See, I told you all of my problems I could blame on math.

While we are on the subject of numbers (and it's safe to say this will be my only blog post about math), we've been doing some number crunching of a personal nature around here. Related to Daniel's age.

When we started the adoption of our sweet son (almost 3 years ago), we were told he was born in 2001. Halfway through the adoption the orphanage changed his birth year to 2000. We still aren't sure why or what information this was based on. We were sad because that meant we had lost another year of his life.

So when he came home, we were saying he was nine, about to be 10 on April 23, because the only information we had was giving us this birthdate.

But after taking him to the dentist and the pediatrician, they both have said that he physically and developmentally looks more like a child who is eight. Our dentist said that, even factoring malnutrition, his tooth development was too far behind for him to possibly be 10. And we have learned that when you adopt a child internationally (even if you are certain about their age), when you readopt them in the US, you are allowed to adjust their age by up to 2 years to help them catch up.

We talked to Daniel about what the doctors thought regarding his age. We asked how he would feel if he was about to turn eight. To our surprise, he was thrilled with the idea. He seems to realize that he has gotten some of his childhood back.

So if any of you readers noticed that our nine year old son turned eight last week, that's why. I promise that it's not because we don't know what number follows nine.

And I don't need a calculator to figure out that two additional years raising one special child, equals one grateful mom.

One Odd Number,


Mom Of Many said...

I am sitting here in the dark hotel room....Emma and Jubilee are sleeping...and I am tryin' not to laugh...."poke your eyes out with a protractor?" You are hysterical girlfriend - truly hysterical...

Math is not my gig either...ugh...I call on daddy when they get in the upper grades and need help...Dw's dad was a high school math teacher and Dw thinks math is "fun"...{I know, I know, how could he - it should be illegal to put "fun" and "math" in the same sentence!!

And as far as your precious treaure turning 8 instead of very cool indeed...I like that kind of Math...Emma's moving to Africa in probably about 2 we were driving to Denver today I told her I was thinking of failing her and putting her back 2 grades...sounded good to me!

Okay, nite nite from time comes early...Much love!! xo

Mom Of Many said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mamita J said...


I am so happy to hear that your little guy is younger than you thought. I thought you were going to tell us he is 14. So many of the kids from Guatemala look so much younger than they are because of malnutrition.

Enjoy your extra two years.

Kat said...

Okay, you had me laughing. Math is not my friend (actually it pinches me when I'm not looking).

My husband, once they hit 8th grade, takes over the math help. Actually I have our oldest two in a local co-op for Algebra I and Algebra II next year.


Our daughter became just a little younger when she came home too :). I just found it original that your birthday's don't even run in the normal pattern. Now THAT is outside the box!!! LOL

Kristin Ferguson said...

OK, all you need to do is take a look at my blog and you'll realize that I'm one of those homeschoolers who doesn't post often because I'm lucky if I can find my way up to my bedroom at the end of the day. ha ha

Loved the protactor comment--I know my 8th grader doing Algebra would love to do that to either himself or me some days.:)

Have a great weekend!!


trustandobey said...

Hi Kathie,
You are hilarious, my friend. I am deeply entrenched in 8th grade math even as I speak. I find I can tackle anything except word problems. PLEASE don't ask me to do a word problem. I mean who really cares when the train is going to arrive travelling at a rate of 65mph and leaving Boston at noon????? Hang in there. Summer is right around the corner;0)