I knew "Math Night" sponsored by Maddie's school was going to be interesting from the get-go. Clearly, the teachers talked up this event to the kids to the point where my daughter actually uttered the words, "This is going to be the best night ever!"
I personally have never used the words "best night ever" and "math" in the same sentence. Just ask anyone who has witnessed me doing math homework. Throw in my other arch nemesis, grocery shopping, and I knew someone would be in tears by the end of the night. My bet was that it was going to be me.
The day started like most where I had to pick my battles especially where Colin was concerned. I was calm when he refused to wear his gym shoes and insisted in wearing rain boots. I was calm when I had to coax a truck out of his hand on his way into preschool. I remained calm when he screamed at me when he wanted Skittles and we didn't have any. Then he whined for more juice when he'd already had one Capri Sun. Later in the day, he banged on the keys to Maddie's keyboard and despite me telling him at least ten times to stop, I finally got to the point where I hit my breaking point and had to yell at him. The only reason I got that far in the day before losing my cool was because I forked over an extra $20 to have him stay at school for Playhouse that bought me an extra 3 hours of sanity.
I had to rattle his cage to get him to go potty, put his shoes and coat on and get out if the house in order to get to Math Night at the local Dominick's. Maddie was anxious to leave for the event and if it were up to her, we would have skipped dinner and just opened a bag of chips from the aisles to snack on instead.
When we walked in the door, Colin seemed into it until he saw the boy next door and began throwing a temper tantrum because he wanted to be with him. My neighbor agreed to take him with them, but then he cried because he wanted to be with me too. They calmly walked away from us and were done with Math Night before we even finished our first problem.
I coaxed him with a snack that I would have gladly ripped open from the shelves. I offered Fruit Ninja on my phone. Instead he laid down on the floor in middle of the aisle. Then he started asking for the cart that has a car where you can sit and watch cartoons. I tried to hold him off as long as possible until he bolted towards the coral of carts. I got Maddie and our current "boring gray cart" (his words) and was willing to succumb to his request just to getthrough the rest of our excursion when I realized they were turned off/out of order. I tried to explain that they didn't work to Colin, but all he saw was red as he tried with all his might to pull out the cartoon cart against the iron clad brake locking it in place.
Maddie jumped in and tried to get him to "step away from the carts," to no avail. I finally told her to ignore him and walk away. Her face was about as flushed as mine from the spike in blood pressure. She and I clenched our jaws simultaneously. Soon Colin begrudgingly followed us back to the aisles to finish our math problems, but continued to scream and cry at the top of his lungs. Maddie told me this was not how she thought Math Night would turn out and that Colin was completely embarrassing her. Poor kid.
I promptly texted Tom to find out what his ETA was at math night was because Colin was shattering Maddie's math night dreams and aspirations. Mind you, it was Tom who was adamant about Maddie attending Math Night. I’m not sure who was more excited, Tom or Maddie. Not that he is a math wiz by any means, but because he not one and really wants to make sure our kids excel in math since neither of us do. He uses it every day and wishes he was better at it. He told me the other night that “Maddie has a long way to go” as far as math is concerned. My response, “Of course she does…she’s in kindergarten. She has twelve years to go, actually.”
Tom was disappointed because he had a meeting that ran late and wasn’t able to get there until the tail end of the event. Of course he walked with a cool head and took over. I don't know what he bribed Colin with, but Colin accepted his phone within 1 minutes and didn’t mentioned the damn cartoon cart until we made it to the car out of earshot of Tom where he yelled at me once again for not getting the cart for him.
After my experience at Math Night, I’ve come up with some grocery stores based math problem for you...
Annoyed, frustrated and bewildered mommy is moving at a rate of 80 steps a minute. The liquor aisle is 400 feet away. If we know that there are 100 steps between each aisle, how long does it take for said mommy to get to the liquor aisle?
How many glasses of wine does it take for mommy from problem 1 to decompress after a school organized event surrounding math, grocery shopping, a kindergartner and a crabby 3 year old?
How many minutes does it take for DCFS to arrive after a child has been beat?