Actual size

One thing that I have learned about Ellis this year is that he is great at math.  At one point there were pieces of paper taped around the whole of his room where he had skip-counted (10,20,30...100,200...1,000, 2,000, and so on) and written the numbers from 1 to 100,000,000,000.  Ask him next time you see him what a rhombicosadodecahedron is.  His favorite game is asking me, "What's 1 plus 1? What's 2 plus 2?  What's 4 plus 4?  What's 8 plus 8?" and on and on.  I can usually go until about 8,000 before my brain explodes and I tell him to go ask Siri.  

Books about dinosaurs are still near and dear in our home these days, and whenever I read any sort of number, whether that be 10 meters (or 500 kilograms, or 60 Km per hour), Ellis asks, "How long is that? How much is that? How fast is that?"  And I have to find something to compare it to in a way that he can easily visualize.  This is not a once or twice a day kind of question, either.  I know he's just trying to wrap his little mathematical brain around these abstract numbers, but my brain is tired.  It helps that the tiles on our floor are exactly one foot square, but I try to stick with Metric, so that's out.  So I spent five dollars on a 30 meter tape measure.  And whenever he asks me how long something is I tell him to roll out the tape measure.  Now he has firmly set in his brain that one diplodocus (26 meters) equals the distance from our gate to the neighbours gate.  

I sure breathed easy when we cracked open a book called “Actual Size", by Steve Jenkins.  I had to answer zero “How big is that?” questions. And it blew our minds- I had no idea there was a frog larger than one of my children!

© Reuben + ErinMaira Gall