Jackson had the homework, “Practice math with zeros.”
So, I wrote him a page of practice problems. The last problem was “0 – 1 =”.
He got to the last problem, first read it as “1 take away 0 =”, but when I said, “No, look again,” he said:
“How do you write the negative sign?”
My six-year old knows NEGATIVE NUMBERS! Because he remember me telling him about them one night in the bath. (He likes to do math in the bath.)
He then wrote himself the problem “0 – 1020 = -1020”
He told me I couldn’t call, email, or text anyone about this. He did not tell me I couldn’t put it on Facebook (which I did), nor did he say anything about blogging it (which I’m doing).
When I put it on Facebook, I wanted to tag his (birth) aunt and make sure she tells her sister. I didn’t, mostly to protect her privacy, but also because S should hear about it in a call from me. (Though I did say I wouldn’t call anyone about this. Maybe I’ll just put it in the next letter.)
Why precisely is it so important to me that S knows? Because I really do believe that Jackson gets, if not his mathematical ability, then at least some of his mathematical mind, from his birthmother. His (birth) grandmother was an accountant. S always did very well at math. Now, Jackson is in Kindergarten, knows how to count to 9,999 (10,000 still confuses him); understands multiplication and can do the 0’s, 1’s, 5’s, 10’s, and maybe 11’s; and apparently understands the concept of negative numbers.
My husband and I are both smart people. I did, however, fail third grade math. Volume. It got me in high school too, but I did extra credit and got a B. Anyway… like I said, we’re smart people. We try to encourage Jackson’s interest in anything academic. I’m sure we’re helping on the math front. I’ve just read too many jokes (and at least one serious essay) about blaming anything negative on the birthparents and anything positive on the adoptive parents. I want it to be known that I think S helped make her son smart!