Sunday, October 14, 2012

Conversations with a preschooler

Tonight, I had the following, unprompted discussion with my son while he was (avoiding) getting ready for bed. I won't even include my response because they consisted of little more than "What?"

Daddy, do you know what 10+10 is? 10+10 is 20.
Daddy, do you know what 10+10+10 is? 10+10+10 is 30.
Daddy, do you know what 10+20 is? 10+20 is 30.
Daddy, do you know what 20-10 is? 20-10 is 10.
And 10-10 is 0.

He then proceeded to apply this new-found knowledge to MarioParty, discussing how many coins you would have after winning a minigame.

He then discussed the ethics of math! I have to paraphrase this part: This whole concept of "20 take away 10" all depends on just who takes the 10 away and how and why. If one person takes it away from someone else without asking, that's stealing and it's wrong. But if you eat the vampire candy and the coins disappear, then it isn't stealing. But 20 take away 10 is still 10 either way. And if you take away 10 and there's 0 left, that's sad, no matter how it gets taken away.

I was there when Joy had the conversation with Prince about what 10+10 was for the first time. It was Friday. From Friday to Sunday he figured all that out.

Joy's comment at this point is just as priceless: "Boy, I've got to be really careful when I talk to him about numbers. I don't mean to expand his mind."