“Give me a maths sum and I’ll tell you the answer, Dad,” Miss9 suggested.
We were keeping ourselves amused while driving the bus from Bargara to Kenilworth for the next leg of our journey. Because we still haven’t picked up our trailer (hopefully any day now) I had three kids with me while Tracey was driving ahead of us in our car with the other two. So far, to keep us amused, we’d swapped knock-knock jokes, talked turtles and discussed, in non-flattering terminology, the driver who’d overtaken us on double lines, and Miss9 had played all the Ariana Grande songs on my iPhone ad nauseam until I begged her to stop.
Because the bus doesn’t have a rear vision mirror, and because whenever I turn to look at someone the bus tends to wander out of the lane, I can’t really see the kids behind me, but that doesn’t stop us having a chat and a laugh.
Or from doing maths.
“What is 6 times 8?” I asked.
“48,” said Miss9 after a moments pause.
“What’s 14 times 8?”
Is it? Took me a bit to work that out. Let’s blame how focused I was on the road conditions.
“160 plus 42 minus 17,” I tried next, hoping it’d keep her occupied for a few minutes. No such luck.
Mentally, I made a pact with myself to only ask questions I could easily work out the answer for, then instantly changed my mind because:
“Give me a hard one, Daddy.”
“4 times 23 divided by 3,” I challenged her.
There was a definite protracted pause this time, but nothing like the respite I expected.
“30 point 7?’ she said doubtfully. Not because she thought her answer was wrong though. Rather, “I rounded up, Daddy. Is that okay?”
Is that okay?
We’ve only been homeschooling for a week and already I’ve discovered we have a maths protege. I couldn’t wait to tell Tracey at the next pee stop.
“You’re an idiot,” my wife told me, leading me to suspect she had doubts as to the reliability of my claim.
“I’m telling you,” I repeated, “she’s brilliant at maths. Brilliant. I was giving her shit I didn’t even know the answer to and she was getting it right.”
“How do you know?”
Damn that was a good point. Because she sounded confident? I decided to move on to what I saw as the best bit.
“You know what this means?” I asked. It was a rhetorical question. I didn’t expect Tracey to answer me and her face confirmed I was spot on . “She can teach the others maths!”
Homeschooling win, right there.
“You’re serious, aren’t you,” Tracey said. Also rhetorical. She called out to our daughter to join us.
“Yes, Mummy?” said Miss9.
“Hey, sweetie,” said Tracey. “Can you please tell your Dad what your favourite phone app is at the moment.”
“He knows, Mummy. We played it on the bus,” she grinned. “The calculator! It’s super fun.”