There’s no such thing as a dumb question.

Unless it is the one Mama’s Boy had to answer on his math homework this afternoon. Let me preface this by saying this: I love our school, our teachers, our administrators, and all things pertaining to all of the above. This post is directed at some dude named Bill that wrote this question on that particular day.

I was wearing rubber boots and standing in four inches of mud with a solo cup full of chicken mash in one hand when Mama’s Boy opened the back door and called out to me. He never just calls out. It is never a calm, stable, “Hey, Mom! When you have a second, I need to ask you something about my homework.” It is never that.

It begins in crisis mode. He goes from, Hmm, let me just read this question silently to myself to ACKWHATINTHEBLOOMINGDAYLIGHTSSHOULDIDONOWTHATICLEARLY WILL NEVERPASSELEMENTARYSCHOOLORHOLDDOWNAREALJOB???

He skips 19 stages to go from Hmm to despair. I can’t seem to talk him out of  all of that. So I diffuse when I can. When the door swung open this afternoon he spewed out an entire paragraph about how horribly hard this one question was before I could even respond to my own name. All I could say was that I’d be in after I liberated the chickens, who had been pent up too long from storms.

I went in. He was grueling over this one question.

To just bring you into the scene, I will post the picture I took of the question.

This is the THINK SOLVE EXPLAIN question. So, let’s look at this together. She cuts the square into two triangles. And Mama’s Boy has to explain how he knows they are two triangles.

There’s only one answer to that.

Because they are.

Because they are triangles. What do you mean, explain how you know? You just know. A triangle is a triangle. Red is red. Keens are awesome. Annie Lennox is the best female pop star of all time.

Well, clearly Mama’s Boy needed more than my boneheaded answer. Cuz. That’s what I said. Just cuz. That’s why. When that wasn’t going to cut it, I turned to the next logical source of information: Google. Let’s get the definition of triangle and explain it that way. How do we know it’s a triangle? Well, because it is a shape comprised of three angles. TRI angle. There, boy. Feel better? Say that.

He was staring at me. Blankly. A long pause passed between us before he finally said,”Why can’t I just write what I was going to write?”

Well, you can. Of course you can. For some reason, I got the impression you were desperately soliciting my help. Perhaps I misunderstood the spewing at the back door. No matter, boy. Go for it.

After that, I put back on my rubber boots and returned to the chickens.

Hours and hours passed and I found myself thinking back to today’s homework scene. I had just sat in on Trivia Night at Gator’s with a group of seriously smart pals and enjoyed a slamming first place victory. And all the brain juice flowing at that table (none of it mine) made me wonder what exactly the boy had said to explain how he knew that Maureen was dealing with two triangles. So when I got home, I pulled out his homework.

Well, duh, Bill. (that’s the dude that wrote this assignment…) Because each side has a big point.

I can’t wait to see what Maureen needs us to explain for her tomorrow.

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7 thoughts on “There’s no such thing as a dumb question.

  1. Oh, you poor thing. You have 4 children and you will be amazed at how utterly unsmart you are by the time you get through with all of that math homework! The thinking piece of it kills the parents!

  2. So very cute. See what brilliant thoughts can emerge on the other side of a panic attack? By the way, we have these regularly at our house. I, the Queen of Calm (despite many other faults) live with the King & Queen of Drama. It’s one of God’s little jokes on me. Maybe the Queen could still be called a Princess, but the episodes feel more Queen-sized. Anyway, great blog, you make me laugh, that’s for sure.

  3. Glad to know that there are other lovely boys who have the amazing ‘gift’ to go from calm to near explosion in one easy step. It does my heart good to know I am not alone. And, duh, point end = triangle. Well said.

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