Her synapses crackled and popped and out came the right math answer. I was so proud. She of course has to obscure the answer by coloring in the number and giving it some extra swirls, but the math was right.
"Is this all?" she said.
Meaning: "I can't believe it was this easy."
Amazingly after the first three questions, she saw the pattern. She saw the pictures and understood how the math worked.
"It's too hard," she had said before she even opened the book. Then she shouted and pouted, thinking the drama would make me back down on our "homework."
Now the brick wall morphed into a unicorn kissed rainbow mist cloud.
She saw that the page of math took only 10 minutes to do, if she concentrated, and didn't spitefully break all the pencil points. She saw that this short time outweighed the 40 minutes borrowed from an episode of Supernanny.
She was now thinking it was not so hard.
It was so cool. I love visible thinking. The wonder in a child's face as she tastes a new food or watches a cat go to the sand bathroom.
By listening you can also deduct how kids think.
Like the other day my daugher and I were talking about the solar system.
"What was that planet you had when you were little? she asked. "The planet Clifford."
"Clifford?" I wondered.
Then it hit me.
"You mean Pluto. You're thinking of a dog."
"Yes, that one," she replied and looked terribly proud.
In her mind, she had remembered it correctly. In my mind, she had remembered it too.
Every victory boosts her confidence. Victories will challenge her to take on more.
I can only hope I understand her this well when she's a teen.