So, the other day I bought little Miss 4.5 year old a gift that I thought was ‘cool’. It was a $3 coloured plastic geometry set.
What? She’s been into drawing with rulers and stencils lately so I thought she would love it. Admittedly, building up the drama of receiving a geometry set with “I’ve got a surprise for you” didn’t get me off to a good start.
And there it was. The first look of genuine, wavering bottom-lipped dissapointment that I’ve been responsible for. She looked at the geometry set and then me as if I was the meanest mother on earth.
So, how did I respond?
By explaining all the cool things that you could do with a geometry set…
1. Draw cool things with straight line, like you do with a ruler. Counter argument received: “But I only like long rulers for doing that”
2. Having a geometry set makes you like a big school kid. Counter argument received: “But I don’t want to be a school kid until I’m 5.”
But…the sobbing was escalating. I was becoming desperate to put some kind of positive angle on the situation (angle, geometry, get it??)
And then, I found it! The reason for a 4.5 year old to have geometry set, that IMMEDIATELY stopped the tears, elicited smiles and even a ‘thanks mum, this is cool”….
(mathematicians….please look away in disgust now…)