Sunday, January 2, 2011

Basic Math with Uncle Silvan

Uncle Silvan was here for the weekend. All four kids were counting down until he arrived and they drove me bat shit crazy asking me how many more minutes until Uncle Silvan was coming over. To say they were excited is the understatement of the century.

Aside from playing, chasing, tossing them in the air and reading books to them, Uncle Silvan indulges them in all kinds of otherwise forbidden stuff. For example, when we stayed with him in Fort Wayne a year ago, Uncle Silvan allowed CJ to empty his spare change jug and play with all the coins. When you are four years old this is top notch. Mommie and Daddy would never allow such nonsense.

Silvan has collected his change in a gatorade jugover the years. He is a bachelor, and there is no way in hell this jug would exist if he were married or had children. By now, that giant container would have been picked clean. This explains why it is jam packed with coins and weighs over 25 pounds.

Being an accountant, this CPA calculated that based on the weight of only pennies, the contents had an approximate value of about $45. My manipulative kids added up the value and discovered it was enough to buy 2 pillow pets. They were scary with their knowledge of basic math.

After all was said and done, the kids emptied the gatorade bank,

dumped the coin collection onto the floor and sorted, played, tossed, and built towers with all of the change. Eli figured out that his footie pajamas could house even more coins
in the toes, so he unzipped his fleece pajamas and shoved the toes full until he could not walk. Problem solving has never been his issue.

The coin sorting and hoarding was hours of fun. When you are a multiple with same age siblings of different genders, the confiscating, hoarding and squirreling away techniques are honed in at an early age. I was finding stashes of coins all over the play room and each child knew exactly how many coins they hid in all the obscure places. Natalie claimed the hiding spot behind all the books and CJ was sneaking coins into the air conditioning vent as his secret treasure chest. Having more than your sibling is very important with coins or money, even at age five, this is crucial to your rank and survival.

All this coin drama entertained my monkeys numerous times over the weekend. I joked that the $45 in pennies worked miracles and was cheaper than hiring a babysitter.

My children can add and estimate denominations of money in pillow pets, and I can do basic math calculations for paying the babysitter. It is all the same basic math with a relation to priorities.

Thanks Uncle Silvan, but next time leave Mommie the change jar so I can afford a babysitter when you are gone.

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