Math and Being a Lame Mom

mathematics-936697_1920Nothing makes you realize how long you’ve been out of school until your fourth grader decides he wants to compete in the Math Olympiad.

It’s mostly Algebra. I was good at algebra, still am…or so I thought.

Holy Moly! What did we get ourselves into?!

At the first meeting, we met with four of his other classmates, all boys, and their moms and went over some of the sample questions from competitions of years past. The boys all got copies of the problems to work on, as well as the moms did too. I heard murmuring from two of the moms, both with engineering degrees, as they discussed which questions would be appropriate.

I nodded agreeably with them, while I desperately tried to wrap my head around the equations.

#1 – What is the missing number of 6+6+6+6+6+6+6+6 = _____ x 3

Okay. I can do this. But that was the easiest one.

#2 – Suppose three days before tomorrow was Wednesday. What day of the week will it be 10 days from today?

Now that was harder, and for some reason my brain was slowing down instead of speeding up. The problems only got worse from there on out. This was not going to go well.

Meanwhile, two of the boys had already practiced the problems ahead of time, and of course yelled out, “Oh, that’s easy!” And the male competition was on.

Mind you I’m not the kind of mom that pushes her kids. Sure, I want them to do well; sure, we encourage them and give them every advantage that we can. But I am by no means the over-achieving, my kid has to be the best in the class sort of Mom. And as I watched my boy start to sweat, I felt like the lamest mom around. Had I known everyone else would’ve practiced in advance, we would have too.

This is where my survival instincts kicked in: fake my way through the meeting and then study like crazy before the next meeting.

My son was a trooper. He somehow managed to keep his head above water and dignity in place.

We survived our first meeting. But this week we will study. After all, this is only 4th grade math, right? Wrong!

But we will both come out of this experience a little bit tougher and a whole lot smarter. Or else we’ll both go down in mathematical flames!

Have you ever signed up for something only to realize your were in way over your head? How did it work out?


6 thoughts on “Math and Being a Lame Mom

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