Give an inch…

September 7, 2009

I’m not really sure why but Cayden has become very interested in units of measure.  Normally, I would be excited that one of my boys has taken an interest in something of an academic natures.  After all, it’s a useful life skill that most men never learn to master.  If you don’t believe me just ask a man to show you what six inches looks like- most men will woefully underestimate.  Cayden however has taken his desire to understand units of measure to a whole new level- a very painful and annoying level.

For instance on the way to the grocery store yesterday he wanted to know how many feet we had traveled from our drive way to the first stop light.  When I told him it was easier for me to calculate the distance using yards he wanted to know who’s yard I was thinking about because “Grandma’s backyard yard is much longer than ours”?  “If we use Mr. Sonny’s front yard will we get there quicker?”   “Is Grandma’s yard longer or shorter than a mile?”    “Do they have yards on the moon?”  “If so who mows them?”  “What about inches?”  “How many inches is it from here to the Ohio?” (Ohio is Cayden’s Graceland because that’s where the grandparents reside)

I did my best to answer him.  I think I did a fairly good job at estimating the distance from our home to the stop light- but when I told him it was roughly 3,000 feet he wanted to know how long it would take to travel 3,000 feet by foot.  Great, not only was I fumbling to explain distance but now he wanted to apply time to the equation.  The fairly mundane car ride discussion with  my 7-year old was quickly turning into a quantum physics lesson.

So I formulated an answer by dividing the distance traveled (3,000 feet) by the average rate of march (3-miles per hour for a combat loaded infantryman)- but all that I managed to do was create an opportunity for  more questions. 

Cayden- “What if the infant-man (sic) was riding a skateboard?” 

Dad- “Infantrymen aren’t issued skateboards son.” 

Cayden- “Are they issued bikes?” 

Dad- “No they are not.”

Cayden- “Roller skates?”

Dad- “No”

Cayden- “Jet packs?”

Dad- “No son they are not issued JET PACKS! They are issued boots and they march.” 

Cayden- “But dad it’s September, if it was March you would be having a birthday party.”

Dad- “10, 9, 8, 7…” (counting backwards stops me from imploding)

Now that I’m a civilian my hair has grown to an appropriate length that allows me to pull it out when faced with frustrating circumstances such as these.  By the time the kids are teenagers I’ll probably be bald.

Word of advice- get a computer in your kid’s room so when they start firing off 10,000 questions you can simply do what the rest of society is all ready doing- “Google it”.

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darev2005 posted the following on September 10, 2009 at 8:52 am.

I grew up in the pre-computer age. But my parents were smart. They bought an entire set of the encyclopedia britannica. When I started the bazillion question thing they would point to the bookshelf and say “Look it up”. Then I would get lost for hours looking up different things. I pretty much taught myself to read from the encyclopedia.

Keith Wilcox posted the following on September 14, 2009 at 11:38 am.

Kids are funny that way. They ask the most frustratingly innocent questions that appear silly until we think about it. You’re right, Google is a life saver as long as there is a computer nearby. Otherwise I find I’ve just got to suck it up and look stupid in front of my boy 🙂

Teri and the cats of Furrydance posted the following on September 22, 2009 at 4:57 pm.

I get lost (in thought) reading a phone book, or googling, or wikipeding…

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