I’ve mentioned previously that I am a very logical-minded person, and that I am passionate about math. I allow this to influence my parenting methods, especially as a former teacher.
In this light, please allow me to share a recent exchange between my 11-year-old daughter, Alessandra, and me.
It began in a typical father-daughter conversation, where she decided to ignore my advice about something or other. Naturally, I was proven right a few minutes later.
I said to her, “Now you, see, Alessandra? Didn’t I tell you that you shouldn’t have done it that way?”
“Yes, Daddy,” she said, her eyes rolling audibly.
“Don’t you know how much longer I’ve been living than you?” My question made her squint.
“What do you mean?”
“You had a milestone birthday last year,” I said, “right?”
“Yeah,” she said curiously. “I turned ten.”
“Right,” I replied. “And what milestone did I reach last year?”
“Forty,” she answered.
“So, I was how many times older than you?”
She thought for less than a second, then smiled as she answered, “Four… you were four times older than me.”
“Right,” I said. “So, given that I am four times your age… you are how old now? And how old does that make me?”
She thought for a second longer. “Well, I’m 11 years old, so that makes you 44.”
“Exactly! Good job! And next year, when you’re 12, how old will I be?”
Quickly she spit out, “48!”
“Great work, Princess! I’m proud of your math skills!”
Her eyebrows knitted together as she thought for a second. “Daddy,” she said, her tone the same as when she explains something to her three-year-old sister, “that’s not how it works!” She planted her hands on her hips and tapped her foot to make her point.
Innocently, I replied, “Really? Are you sure about that?”
“Yes!” We couldn’t hold back any longer, as we laughed at the silliness of it all.
I love my girls. I love it even more that they are smart enough to see through, and appreciate, my goofy tricks.