Mom, can you help me with my math homework? I’m a little stuck. Mom? Mom? MOM!

*Huh? Sorry, I was just pretending I wasn’t here so you’d ask someone else to help you.*

You’re the only one home besides the cats right now.

*Yes, and they’re both better at long division than I am, so why don’t you just wait until they’re out of the litter box and run it past them?
*

Mom, I really need you to help me with this, okay? It’s due tomorrow.

*Fine. What’s the problem you’re stuck on?*

Write an expression for *q* multiplied by 215.

*Holy shit on a taco.*

What?

*That’s an expression for q. Write it down.*

But that’s not the kind of express…why can’t you just help me?

*Because the last math class I took was in 1984 and I only passed it because I washed and dried my teacher’s car once a week. Listen, public school used to be a lot more flexible than it is now. Back then you could take a few shop classes, smoke a doobie in the Girls Room, get knocked up once or twice, and still be the class valedictorian. Now it’s all this fancy pants studying every night.*

What’s a doob…

*The point is, your mother can’t make change for a dollar and she still graduated with two scholarships.
*

Well, could you just *look* at this question in my book and see if it makes sense, please?

*Okay, okay. (long pause)* *The answer is “purple.”*

THE ANSWER IS NOT PURPLE, MOM. THERE IS NO PURPLE IN 7TH GRADE MATH.

*Green?*

(silent fuming)

*Sam, I’m sorry! I just don’t know how to help you with math. I’ve been telling you that ever since Kindergarten when your teacher made fun of me for thinking there was a number called “eleventeen.” Remember that? Some of those kids still call me “The Math Moron” when I see them, too. Little jerks. Like *they* can name all of the states in alphabetical order?*

You can do that?

*Yes, but only if you change the word “states” to “stores I like at the mall.”*

Mom, enough, okay? I need to finish this homework right now.

*Fine, fine, fine. I hear the high schooler down the street is a great tutor, so let’s call him. I don’t care how much he charges, either.
*

Good, because some kid on the bus says that he’s $25 an hour.

*Holy shit on a taco. What’s that in eleventeens?*

_______________________________

**In other news, if you’re in Austin, please read this:**

Last month, a young boy was struck by lightning at the soccer fields near our house. When it happened, only one person there knew CPR and he used it to keep the boy alive. This inspired me to organize a CPR class for anyone who wants training and/or a refresher. The Take Heart Austin 10 minute compression-only CPR classes will be taught by Lake Travis Fire and Rescue instructors on Saturday, September 27th from 2-4pm at the Bee Cave library.

Click here to sign up for your 10 minute session on VolunteerSpot.com and please spread the word! http://vols.pt/1Wpgap

I couldn’t balance a checkbook if you gave me a scale (I think that’s how you balance a checkbook, right?). I so suck at math. My fourth grader was doing a worksheet this morning, rounding to the nearest hundred. That’s about the extent of my math ability. I don’t know what lesson they’re getting next week, but he’s on his own. If it involves anything more complicated than counting on your fingers, I’m out.

I am hopeless at arithmetic. I work as a glorified statistician, but I can’t multiply 7 X 8 and reliably get the same number twice. When will schools realize that this is exactly what calculators were invented for?

Hate the math homework. Hate. It.

Love this. It’s amazing you didn’t turn out to be an engineer or a banker.

That’s awesome!

Seriously, if it weren’t for Khan Academy my son would have to take off his shoes to count to ten…..

My first instinct upon reading this is to say WORD.

But I don’t think I’m cool enough to pull it off.

Plus, your post is about MATH so WORD feels inappropriate.

Then again, WORD PROBLEMS were the bane of my existence so maybe I’m cool AND appropriate.

(I should have paid attention during that Common Core meeting. Crap.)

I minored in math in college and still can’t make it through my 9th grade son’s geometry homework. That stuff wasn’t meant to stick.

My kids’ school is using the Singapore Math model and that’s exactly how far away I would like to escape every time I’m asked to help.

Remember when we were in school and our teachers told us we wouldn’t be carrying calculators around for the rest of our lives and now cell phones have calculators built in? Ha.

Tonight my 10 year old had 20 math problems to solve. 67893-6738 was one of the easiest.

Then there came texts like Marcos buys 45297 flowers to decorate a float for a parade. After decorating he tossed 1899 flowers. How many did he use on the float.

I was like

Listen. The teenager says, can you help with this? Her instructions, in her handwriting, are: only do colume one. I stared and stared at that math problem, something about if Robin is meeting a friend x miles away and is driving x mph, what time does she get there? Probably I’ve forgotten some other number, but my point is, I stared, Wendi. And then I looked at her and told her she’d misspelled column. BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I CAN HELP WITH. Also, Robin decided not to go.

It was SATAN who said “Lets mix the alphabet and Math”….. bastard…

The alphabet and numbers are not meant for mixing.

[…] Do the Math, Just Not With Your Mother, by Wendi Aarons. […]