What communication issues?

I think the most solid foundation for a healthy, mutually-fulfilling relationship is good communication. Fortunately, being a writer-type-person who likes to make many word-like squawkings with both my hands and my face-hole, PLUS given the importance I place on really listening to similar transmissions from the ones I love, I’ve got this one down pat. My family never has to feel like we don’t all understand each other.

I mean… uhhhh… unless one of us has been doing math for 10+ hours straight and another of us has been trying offer support for said unholy amount of time devoted to said math while wondering WHY IN THE WORLD we thought a summer class was a good idea.

Her: What are you making?
Me: Lentils.
Her: For?
Me: Eating…?
Her: No, I mean eating for…?
Me: … dinner??
Her: … FOR????
*we glare at each other, tension building, each sure the other is being deliberately obtuse*
Me: Oh! For TACOS!
Her: Oh! I love tacos.

I am trying to find a way to blame this on math. I may need a little more time, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.


  1. Leandra

    Well, everybody knows that a taco leaving Station A traveling north at 60 mph and a pot of lentils leaving Station B traveling south at 40 mph will pass each other in….aw, dammit, I never was good at word problems.

  2. Aimee

    Leandra — ha! I was never any good at word problems either. I have no idea how many lentils it takes to fill a taco, I just know that I’ve never HAD lentils in a taco and it seems like an excellent idea.

    I always feel that it’s fair to blame everything on math.

  3. Deb

    The length if time with math problems times the length of time spent preparing lentils times the cook’s age squared plus the square root of the student’s age equals the cosine beta of the level of tension and anxiety. Of course if you add a pan if iced brownies it will cancel all that out.

    • RuthWells

      Yes. This is science.

  4. Mary Fran

    I do that on purpose to my kids. What’s for dinner? Food! What kind of food? The kind you eat! OK, maybe I only do that when I’m stalling trying to decide what to feed them. No one ever tells you that part about kids – that you have to keep feeding them. Every day. It just never ends.

    • Ali

      I know, right? I do not remember having to feed my practice egg-child. My home ec teacher would not get a good Yelp review.

  5. Lisa

    Mary Fran, that reminds me of my 17 yr old son. When I ask what he wants for dinner, he replies “food.” Ugghhh!! ;)

    • Katherine

      Oh no, maybe it’s a disease of 17 yo boys! I have one who forever is wanting me to bring him something to eat. When asked what he wants, the answer is always “food”. I turn that around on him though too. When he asks what’s for dinner, it’s often food. Sometimes I’ll get more specific and tell him “with a green vegetable”.

  6. kapgaf

    Don’t you just hate it when someone says “do the math”? I’d much rather cook lentils.

  7. js

    Last nights convo regarding math between my husband and my child went like this:

    Husband: Child, stop singing and focus on your math!
    Child: Ohhhh-kaaaayyyy! I willlll stoop sing-ing and doooo my math home-woooorkkkk!!! Lalalala!

    I hate math. And we’re only in fifth grade! Geometry is the devil, y’all. My husband is very Otto-like and I believe middle school is going to drive him to drink ;-)

    • Elizabeth

      Well…. I’m sure Copernicus and Einstein had ample supplies of wine at their disposals.

    • My Kids Mom

      I was hoping someone would do that! They are on the grocery list. I’m always looking for more veggie centered menus.

  8. Juli Ward

    My utmost apologies that you would have to deal with math during the summer. May I suggest that you personally limit your math to that teeny little writing on the side of the bottle that indicates the percentage of alcohol? Or get Ms. Chickie to confront the pool guy with the precise amount of water that is leaking from their mistake? Those dudes will be flummoxed so much that free pool maintenance may be accomplished. Name a non-math profession and that so called professional will shrink in the face of actual math. Summer math project complete! My apologies in advance to the pool guys that try to solve Ms. Chickie’s math problem without offering a huge discount.

  9. Stimey

    Most things are math’s fault.

  10. aem2

    *Sigh* Once again I feel the need to defend the math. It’s merely making Chickie require you to be more precise. We mathies know not to bother with trivial answers — clearly (as all my textbooks said when actually it wasn’t at all obvious) the lentils were for eating for dinner (the proof of this will be left as an exercise for the reader). She was merely trying to get to the, er, meat/lentils of the solution.

    • Karen.

      In 26 steps.
      Preferably at the bar!
      Those were the days. :)

  11. Kristin

    I tell my college students not to take math in the summer – that’s a lot of math crammed into a short time period. Ugh…feel for you.

    • Valerie

      Loving the commentary and of course the original post. I find it amazing that Mir can find the little gems in what I generally just find irritating and obtuse in my kids. And I love the word problems and the definitive declaration that they are indeed, “science.” Thank you all!

      Regarding weird kids, math and summer, I have the following tidbit.
      Last August, my rising junior decided her class schedule was “for slackers.” She found an online Pre-Calc course and completed it in THREE WEEKS, testing out of pre-calculus when the school year began and moving into the Adv Calc I course. Because obviously, only slackers are taking pre-calc during their junior year.

      She too would be completely dissatisfied with anything less than full disclosure. Mir seems to end her conversation with a smile; I usually end up wondering why the constant harassment. It all about perspective!

  12. Megan

    All teen to parent conversations should involve explanatory flash cards/subtitles.

  13. Barbara

    As the mom to a veggie daughter (who reminds me of Chickie is lots of other ways too!) I must know about these lentils…..what? You cook lentils and then add them to things instead of meat? I MUST know this! It sounds like a great thing! Please share more about it!

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