Wednesday, July 2, 2008
My little adding machine
Ed and I spend very little time trying to teach Connor "book skills". In part, it's because he's had a string of nannies that were in love with the idea of teaching him letters, numbers, shapes, colors - you name it. In part, it's because it's not all that fun to teach these things - even though Connor has a clear interest in them. We do, however, read him books -- a lot of books. Sadly, Connor will often decide he adores a book that is nothing short of horrible. It either has no story, uses poor grammar, or is just plain boring. Yet, Connor will request the book over and over, until he has it memorized - and even then, he'll go through phases of wanting to read nothing but this book that Ed and I seek to avoid.
One of these books is the "M&M Counting Book". This book is horrible. It has pictures of M&Ms in various colors, and starts by counting up to 12, and then subtracting to 0, and then using those 12 M&Ms to make various shapes, and then putting them in sets of 2, 3, 4, and 6. I have more than once hidden this book hoping Connor would forget about it and I could give it to the next unsuspecting parent without fear that Connor would be devastated when he learned his precious book had disappeared. But, every time I think it's safe to give away, he requests it. DOH!
Last week, we were in the car on our way to "float night" at our neighborhood swim club. This is one of few nights throughout the summer when you can bring rafts into the big pool. Oh, the thrill of it all. On our short drive there, Connor asked how many floats we had in the trunk of the car. Ed or I told him there were four. He quickly told us that if we got rid of one float, there would only be three left. And then I asked him what would happen if we got rid of two floats, and he correctly identified there would be 2 left. Then we went in the opposite direction adding, and as it turns out, Little Man is pretty good at simple math. Who knew? I'm not sure whether to blame my dad the engineer's genes, or Ed's genes on this mathematical oddity.
In the past couple of days, Connor has been reminding us of his new skill constantly to keep track of how many drinkable yogurts are in the refrigerator (hello, OCD). He has a definite fear of running out, so several times a day he will remind me how many there are, and then he will tell me how many he used to have, how many he has drunk, and repeat how many are left. Often, he'll decide he could have just one more, so long as there would still be at least one remaining. I can tell already it's going to be a tough choice for him when we get down to only one in the refrigerator. Not sure if it's better to get the pleasure of drinking one more and the knowledge that none are left - or if it's better to leave an emergency drinkable yogurt just in case it's needed.
The only thing keeping me from drinking one just to mess with him is the knowledge that on Friday, we will be seated next to each other on a plane for a long time and I am not particularly interested in hearing how one drinkable yogurt disappeared over, and over, and over, and over. Or, having him ask me 3,000 times "why did you drink one of my drinkable yogurts, Mommy?".
OK Connor, let's see how good you really are. The year is 2008. Your grandpa was born on this day in 1942. How old does that make him? (Happy Birthday, Dad. Not only did we count a lot of things in your honor today, we went to visit some digger trucks and a cement mixer.)