Venn diagram


Mookie just loves Venn diagrams, and created this one describing our family. I dispute the claim that I don’t have puffy cheeks, and showed her my puffed-up cheeks to prove it, but she is sticking by it.

Now we know what to suggest the next time she says “What should I dooooo?” There are so many things in the world to put into Venn diagrams.



Math nerd at play

Mookie and her two-years-older cousin N. were sharing lots of giggles over dinner tonight as Mookie engaged N. in one of her favorite pastimes, Math Quiz. She posed math problems and he solved them. They quickly got into Math Nerd Humor, Elementary School Division:

M: What’s 13 x 1?
N (feigning puzzlement): Um . . . 13?
M: (collapses laughing)


M: What’s ten times zero times zero times zero times zero . . . (collapses again)

Then he started giving her problems. “What’s -42 divided by 2?” Mookie had no idea what he was talking about. “Negative,” in this context, was a foreign word; she literally said “Huh?!” I suggested to N. that he explain negative numbers to her–she’d enjoy them–but then we heard this:

N: What’s negative 300 plus negative 301?
M: Um . . . 601–wait, no, negative 601.

At this point Joy’s eyes and mine met across the table, both clearly saying, How the hell does she know that?

This child’s intuition for math is astounding. Maybe she gets it from Joy.

Three conversations

I was reading Mookie the instructions of her favorite pages in Puzzle Buzz.

Mama: Circle the one with the even number of fish.

Mookie: One, two, one, two, one, two, one, two, one, two. This one.

Mama: I didn’t know if you knew what “even” meant! Do you know what the opposite is called? What do you call a number that you can’t count off by twos?

Mookie: Bumpy?

I thought that was an excellent guess. I laughed and said so, and told her the term is “odd.” That made her laugh. “That’s very odd,” she said. “What an odd thing to say.”


Last night at dinner we were talking about a kid in school, A., who is what is euphemistically called “a spirited child.” Smart, sweet, can’t hold still for five minutes to save his life.

Mama: Some kids need to move around a lot and some kids like to sit very still for a long time. You’re kind of in-between.

Mookie: I used to be more like A. In kindergarten I was. Now I like to sit still more.

Mama: Why do you think you’ve changed?

Mookie, with feeling: Old age.

I had had a theory as to the reason for the change, and had almost asked her, “Do you suppose that’s because you like to spend so much time reading now?” I’m glad I held back and asked the open-ended question instead, or we’d have missed out on that immortal answer.


For tonight’s homework, Mookie had to interview us about what countries she, we, and our parents were born in. (Friday is the international flag parade, a school tradition which kids carry a flag of their family heritage, so they’re preparing to make their flags.) The questions were in Spanish but she wrote “United States” all three times. I figured that was okay, but asked, “Do you know how to say ‘United States’ in Spanish?” She responded by saying “United States” in a convincing Mexican accent.

When I laughed helplessly, she laughed too and tried pronouncing it as if it were actually Spanish: “Oo-nee-ted Stah-tees.” But really, there was no improving on her first response. I’m pretty sure “learn how to imitate recent immigrants” is not in the school’s goals for its students.