10.29.2009

Statistical Probability + Psychological Warfare = Yahtzee!

Habtamu does 'casual math' in his head like I remember doing. He'll sit in the car and divide out how many slices of pizza everyone should get for dinner, or figure out how many more quarters he needs to get to a dollar.

For Yordi however, it is taking more time to solidify some fundamental mathematical connections. For some reason, the fact that my daughter didn't intuitively know that two even numbers added together always equal another even number was really burning me up the other night. We were playing Yahtzee and she couldn't figure out why my voice kept rising every time she guessed at her die count.

"What's 27 plus 1?"
"28."
"Good so what's 28 plus another 1?"
"30...?"
*eye-roll* "Then what is 28 plus 2?"
"Umm, 30."
"Yes! Ok, so what's 30 minus 1?"
"31."
"No, minus. 30 minus 1?"
"32?"
"UGH! No! if you have 5 dice and they are all sixes, how many points do you have?"
"50."
"What? No! Stop guessing."
"Yes! Yahtzee is 50 points."
"Urgh... No! Well,yes but... ok... (Deep breath) I meant how many dots are showing?"
"30!"
"YES! Now, if I make one of those sixes a five, how many points do you have!?"
"twe....nty.... eight?"
"GAH! NO! Do it again! IF YOU HAVE FIVE DICE AND THEY ARE ALL SIXES..."
"IDONTKNOWIDONTKNOWIDONTKNOW!!! Daddy, why are you yelling at me? It's just a game?"
"IT'S NOT A GAME! THIS IS MATH! THIS IS IMPORTANT!"
"I do math in the morning. I don't know it now."
"NO! Math is like English! You NEVER get to turn it off! It's always important!"
(This time I get the eye-roll)
"Look, this is serious. What if you go to buy something at the store and..."
"I don't want to play any more."
"FINE. Add up your score and you can be excused."

My daughter then gets real low to the table and proceeds to add up her full Yahtzee card. For those of you aren't regular players, that's 6 numbers plus another 6 numbers which then have to be combined to get your final score. She then pushed her chair back, dropped her pencil on the table, and made a deliberate exit.

Curious (and petty,) I checked her math. "Wait a minute!" I yelled back at her. "You can add 12 numbers together correctly, but you can't tell me what 28 plus 1 is? You CAN do math at night just fine when you want to! What's going on here?"

"The game is finished," She said. "It's book time."

You know, I'm still not sure exactly which 'game' she's referring to.

Note to self: No Paul Newman movies for the child who is already sharking daddy at Yahtzee.

3 comments:

McEvil One said...

Hilarious...
I'm sitting in my cube, snickering to myself while reading this!

People are poking their heads in just to make sure I'm not having a seizure.

Windchimes said...

Um, I'm kinda glad at this point I don't have Yahtzee. I think I'd have a brain aneurysm. Either from doing the math or getting mad at the kids because they weren't doing it right!

jur said...

Wow. I just snorted at my computer. (She probably added those numbers better than I used to on the bank deposits for the preschool, which came out wrong about once a month. Sigh.)