The New Math
“I’m five and a half‘,” #1 announces to everyone he meets with the new found confidence that comes with this additional six months. The statement hangs out there returned with an “Oh” or a “Wow”. Yep, now they know who they are dealing with; a bonafide big boy. Those extra months count.
“How old do I have to be to go to Disney World?” he asks most days. “When you are seven” I reply. “So if I’m seven then my brother will be five right?” I wait for him to point out that if he himself is five then why can’t we go now. Thankfully this logic has not come forward yet. “How old do I have to be to go to Seattle, ride my bike down the street, stay up as late as you, be a grown up…..?” On it goes. I admit, I’ve created this mess because the first time he started with this line of questioning the literal thinker in me gave him a number to associate with each question; bad move Mom.
We then move into ‘how old is so and so’ and ‘when is their birthday’; ‘is their birthday before mine’? My favorite though is ‘why is so and so older than me?’ Because they were born before you. ‘But why?’ Ummm…..what do you want for a snack today.
We play this age game most days. I try not to let it get under my skin and we usually move on after a few rounds. The way I see it is it’s a good exercise in math. So when you are old enough to go to Disney World, how old will your brother be? If you are five now and you can drive a car when you are sixteen, how many years do you need to wait? If a train leaves Chicago going 100 mph and another train leaves New York going 110 mph….. I laugh at this point. He looks at me.
Poor kid, he believes, he’ll never reach these milestones. There are so many days, months and years standing between him and these coveted achievements. And yet here I am as Mom looking through a camera lens capturing and cherishing each one in disbelief that we are already there.
Lucky for him, he has so many things to look forward to and in such rapid succession. I’ve passed that stage in life where milestones are measured in increments of four years, high school, college, first job. I’ve joined that world where we measure milestones every ten years. And when I look at it that way, why not make each one of those milestones a total blow out! So if you celebrate your birthday once a year, and Mommy celebrates her birthday every ten years and if you have ten friends at your party, how many should Mommy have at her party? You do the math.