Guest post by Vicky Willenberg of The Pursuit of Normal
If I were a high-school senior applying to college today, there would be no way on God’s green earth I would get in, well, um … anywhere. I’m no dummy, but my “slightly above average” school record — earned through hard work, persistence and four solid years sitting at the kitchen table with my father doggedly helping me “solve for x”— yielded a measly 3.5 grade point average, a 4 on the AP Government Test and 1150 on the SAT.
But, despite a fair-to-middling academic performance, I have discovered that one can still become a bona fide expert in the highly competitive field of applied mommy mathematics. After all, mom math is the only math that really matters, amiright?
So, grab a #2 pencil. Let’s see how well the rest of you Mommy Mathematicians do. Remember — show your work!
1. Mom has two children, each with their own favorite cartoon character backpack, jacket and lunchbox. If one child also has a report due on George Washington that took seven hours for the mom child to research, write and create a poster-board full of visuals illustrating daily life in the 1700s and assemble an authentic costume from the era, how many school-related items will actually make it from the house into the classroom?
d. Cannot be solved because there is no way to predict how many items will be left at home no matter how many times Mom reminds the kids to grab their stuff.
2. Mom has three children. If she says, “Put your shoes on” to each child 27 times within 15 minutes, what is the probability that any shoe will end up on any child’s foot by the time she is ready to leave the house and get into the car?
d. Zero. No one listens to Mom anyway.
3. Mom needs to be in the car by 7:30 AM to get her two children to school on time. If it takes each child 20 minutes to put on underwear, socks, shirt and shorts; 17 minutes to walk down the stairs; 37 minutes to eat breakfast; 19 minutes to brush their teeth; 13 minutes to get into the car and 25 minutes to drive to school going 20 mph because she crosses three school zones to get there, at what time should Mom wake the children on school days?
a. 5:00 AM
b. 5:37 AM
c. 6:15 AM
d. The night before.
4. Mom gets 8 hours of sleep each night. She eats 3 meals a day — only one of which comes from a drive-thru). She exercises 30 minutes three times a week. She washes and folds the equivalent of the Target boys section in laundry every day. Picks up about the equivalent of a Toys R Us superstore inventory of toys and games every other day. And runs the dishwasher at least twice daily. How many times per week will she spontaneously burst into tears when she looks at her masters degree hanging on the wall?
c. How is she sleeping 8 hours a night? Ambien???
d. It depends on how many Legos she steps on with bare feet.
5. Mom drives an average of 45 mph to get to the grocery store that is 5 miles away. If she needs to get 37 items on her list to prep school lunches and snacks for the coming week, and she can get to the store and through the checkout line in 30 minutes, leaving her 20 minutes to get Li’l Suzy to her piano lesson 20 miles away and Li’l Jimmy to soccer practice 10 miles in the opposite direction, and the baby to the pediatrician to check out that strange rash that appeared this morning, how many times will she threaten to “turn this car around” because her kids are misbehaving?
d. None. Her grocery store stocks 300 types of wine. She’s not stopping for anything.
6. Indicate the percentage that represents the number of times dinner is met with the following response, “Yay! I love ___ ! My favorite!”
a. 10% of the time
b. 25% of the time
c. 33% of the time
d. 100% of the time, provided it comes from a drive-thru with a side of fries.
7. School is in session for approximately 152 days a year. At least 5/8 of those days are chilly enough to require a jacket. If Mom reminds her 8-year-old to bring his jacket home every day for 132 days, how many days will that jacket actually be brought home?
d. What jacket?
8. Mom is defrosting a 10-pound chicken for dinner. If she has four children and each child typically eats one drumstick and one wing or a thigh, and Dad likes the breast (naturally), how much extra chicken can each child have if Dad calls and says he completely forgot about a client dinner and won’t be home till after 10 pm.
a. 4 ounces extra.
b. 3 ounces extra.
c. “MOM! You know I HATE chicken!!” … “Since forever!!”
d. None. Dad’s not coming home for dinner? Then Mom’s not cooking. Lucky Charms for all!
D. Every answer is D.
Slightly above average?!? Bah! I’m a genius in the things that matter. That’s just my normal.