I was working on Math with my seven year old. She was having problems with deciphering less than and greater than. You know, seven is less than nine. 11 is greater than 4. You get it but she wasn’t. I didn’t understand why she wasn’t getting it so I changed it up a bit.
“So picture a hungry alligator’s mouth” I said.
“Why?” she asked.
“Well, you see the mouth is opening because it’s hungry” I responded.
She interjected by saying, “I once saw an alligator eat a monkey on television.”
“Oh,” I said, fearing my lesson was talking a wrong turn. “Was the monkey ok?”
“No,” she said matter of factly. “He was eaten.”
Mentally vowing to cancel cable I continued on, saying, “So anyway, the alligator is hungry and he’s always going to open his mouth to go for more rather than less because he’s so hungry. Got it?”
“Yup,” she said proudly, her eyes lighting up with clarity.
“So which way would the alligator’s mouth face if it had seven on one side and nine on the other?” I asked her.
She restated the question in a particularly macabre way. “So you’re asking if the alligator could eat seven monkeys or nine monkeys, which one would it go for?”
Desperate but pleased that she finally understood the concept, I said yes. Homeschooling victory for me!!!!
“I don’t know,” she said exasperatedly. “It all depends on how much meat the monkeys have on them. If it’s seven fat monkeys or nine little skinny monkeys then the alligator will go for the seven fat monkeys, right?”
You see, that’s the kind of thing your kid says and you don’t know whether to be proud or have them removed and sent to a more stable house with no animal documentaries.