Friday, August 14, 2009

YOU Do The Math

Isn't it funny how differently kids' minds work? I mean, when they're in first grade, they kind of think the same way as other first graders: farts are funny, dark is scary and knock-knock jokes are silly even if you tell them a hundred times in a row. But when it comes to personality, putting two brothers to work on the same project can really shine a light on where the biological similarities end.

"Hey Jacob and Ben, I need you to go out in the yard and collect all the apples that have fallen from the trees. Fill up the bucket, take it over and dump it across the street and do that until the apples are all gone."

Ben: "OK! Where's the bucket?"

Jacob: "Are we going to get paid?"

Granted, they are three years apart, but wait. There's more.

Jacob: "Mom, there's like a million apples. I'd better get ten bucks for this."

Ben: "Mom, how about if I count how many I collect, and then you give me five cents for every apple?"

Now, my kids get their math savvy from their father. Case in point: when I hear 'pay me ten bucks to do this job,' my first instinct is, 'dream on, kid.' But when I hear 'pay me five cents an apple,' I'm thinking, 'five? That's nothing! I'll give you ten cents an apple!'

After all, what's a measly dime for each apple?

I should point out that, after surveying the yard, I realized there were a couple hundred apples blanketing our lawn. Even at Ben's reasonable rates, I was looking at at least ten dollars per kid.

But seeing that entrepreneurial (some might say crafty) spirit in Ben--the one that made me eager to offer him even more than he suggested to do the job--showed me just how differently these guys look at the world. Well, that and the fact that I'd better brush up on my math skills.

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