A Month of Thankful: I’m Thankful My Kid Got Math Smarts

Okay, so, I had my pumped-up kicks all ready to blog every day this month in celebration of my favorite month and holiday of the year.  I mean, really, what’s not to love about November?  It smells of fireplaces burning away the scent of summer, its leaves explode into fireworks of color and fall like ticker-tape, its early mornings leave a damp chill on the pavement, hinting at the scent of snow, and everyone’s houses ooze cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkins and apples.  (Not literally, though.  Unless you’re making Gingerbread’s house.  Otherwise, stay away from oozing of any kind.  Bad.)

Also, I get to bust out my favorite accessory ever – a scarf.  (When you have small children, accessories that are machine washable are a very big plus.)

Wait.  wait.  I’m getting sidetracked here.  We’ve got a WHOLE month to talk about this stuff.  Okay.  Not a whole month.  But, most of it.  (I wouldn’t really have been true to myself if I’d started on time, anyway.)

Today …

Today, on my first day of Thankful, I am thankful that my son, Nate, against all laws of probability and genetics,  got a math brain.

math brain

No, that’s NOT a bowl of dog food.  Yes, it might’ve been clearer had a I drawn his body.  Be grateful I don’t teach art, okay!?

I do not have a math brain.  My brain is stuffed full of words and punctuation, rules and laws and code sections and case names, useless trivia about the 1980s and passwords that have at least one capital letter, one symbol and one number but won’t mean anything to anyone ever.  I also know the answers to important questions, like:  What’s your mother’s maiden name?  What’s your father’s middle name?  What was the make and model of your first car?  Who was your favorite elementary school teacher?  What is the middle initial of your first husband’s aunt’s cousin’s sister’s daughter-in-law?

That’s a lot of shit for one brain, yo, especially one that’s getting as old as mine.  I think I get a new gray hair every time I have to change or create a password for something.

The point is, don’t ask me to “finish the pattern in this set” unless you’re talking about china.  Don’t ask me about angles unless you’re taking a photograph.  And don’t, for the love of all that is holy and $5 pitchers of beer at Happy Hour, ask me about calculus unless you want to talk about Stand and Deliver.  (It was a great movie, right?  I still freak out every time Kemo has the heart attack in the hallway …)

But, Nate is an altogether different story.  It baffles me.  It truly does.  How did this kid come from ME?  If you ask Nate to write an essay about his opinion on something, he practically pops a blood vessel.  The straining and the struggle is painful to watch.  But, oh, give him a math or logic problem, and he becomes Mr. Wizard.

I was reminded of this today, when Nate humbled me in my own kitchen.  The only thing that got cooked were my brains – fried, extra crispy.  Why?  Because Nate gave me three “easy” logic problems to solve.  I failed.  F – A – I – L – E – D.  Big fat F.  So, I am thankful that my brilliant son showed me how to solve these equations. Otherwise, I’d look like this:


Do you have any idea how hard it is to draw freehand with a touchpad mouse? My pointer fingers are shaking from the exhaustion.


5 + 5 + 5 = 550

Using one line and only one line, make this equation into a true statement.  You may not draw a line through the equals symbol (≠) to solve this problem.


Using the same number three times, create an equation that adds up to 60.  For example, 20+20+20=60.

You must use whole numbers.  You can only add.


Using the following numbers and operators:

2  3  4  5  +  =

create an equation that resolves true.  You cannot use any other numbers or symbols than those above, but you can use them in any order you wish.


Connect ALL of the dots in the pattern below using only 4 lines and never allowing your pen to leave the paper. (Every time your line turns, you start a new line.)

.     .     .

.     .     .

.     .     .

Good luck, class.  I will post the answers soon.  Don’t try to show off in the comments.  If you don’t let everyone else struggle until someone standing nearby asks, “What’s burning?” you ruin it for the rest of us.  Until next time, be thankful my friends.


9 comments on “A Month of Thankful: I’m Thankful My Kid Got Math Smarts

  1. akbutler says:

    I stopped reading after the word “math”. 🙂
    My kids have this brain just like their dad. I have the brain to remember every song I’ve heard (good for SongPop), my favorite TV shows and when they were on (good for no reason at all) and basic information about my kids’ developmental history just to skate by at IEP time.
    Let me know when you post the answers so I can cheat and look smart in front of my boys…

  2. Heather says:

    It’s early and my brain just exploded. I’ll have to check back in later. Hahaha!

  3. sarah9188 says:

    I think I figured out Equation 3; this is keeping my brain from exploding for now. I am going to have to leave this page now, though or else I’m going to spend the rest of the night trying to figure them out.

    Not a math brain – just obsessive. 😉

    • ProfMomEsq says:

      You + Me = Peas in Pod. That’s all the math I can handle. I’ll post the solutions soon. I also saved my husband’s notes from he tried (and failed). I’ll probably post those, too – mostly for my own amusement.

  4. katemai says:

    I so hear you. My long-playing joke around here is to ask my daughters if they need any help when they complain about their cal-CU-lus. It was kind of funny the first 12 times, but now I”m the only one who laughs about it. Oh well!

  5. R. says:

    1, 2, and 4, I get. 3, I’d really like to! Did you already post answers?

It's boring when I do all the talking around here. Speak now, while you can get a word in edgewise.

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