## Thursday, May 29, 2008

### I Need A Vacation

Last night I spent almost fifteen whole minutes trying to figure out the difference in my daughter's and niece's ages. Katie was born in November 2002; Bryn was born in October, 2004. Okay, wait. Now that I've typed it, it looks ridiculously easy. It was well after midnight and I was trying to do it in my head and ... wait. That doesn't make me look any smarter. This is what was throwing me: Katie was born at the very end of November, and Bryn was born toward the beginning of October and I was trying to adjust for that, again in my head. There was this whole big story problem in my head, and I was trying to figure out how Katie was in February 2005 and subtract from that how old Bryn was in February 2005. And if a train left Pittsburgh traveling west at 120 miles an hour... Ack!!

I was really struggling with this--is it just over two years' or just under two years' difference??-- so I sat down to work it out on paper. OK, let's figure out how many months Katie had been alive when Bryn was born. I was so out of it, I decided the best way to do that would be to write the months down and then check them off as I counted.

(Seriously, if you're not worried about my sanity by now, you're about to be.) This is what I wrote:
Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Dueter

I stopped, not because I realized I was writing the books of the Bible, but because Deuteronomy is "eu" not "ue." That realization is what jarred me into noticing that Deuteronomy is "eu" and oh, yeah, not a month in the first place.

I still don't have an answer to my birthday story problem, but I decided I'm content to estimate.

Susan said...

I am laughing my tail off right now. What's precipitated the need for precision? At least everyone will be born in an even year...that's got to facilitate some of the mental math, no?

Wendy said...

Oh, yes, that makes it much easier. So what's the age difference?? And, smarty-pants, if Will & Katie are 2 years, 5 months apart, how far apart are Will & Bryn??

Susan said...

Again, I totally don't get the need to be so precise! Does saying they are two years apart (when they're really 22 months apart) shave off some critical sliver of accuracy that is so offensive to your sensibilities?

Noodle this one...No books of the Bible required to solve.

a=0 (Bryn's age at birth)
b=22 (Katie's age at x)
c=b+29 months (William's age at x)
z= age difference between B and W

z=c/12

Wendy said...

Did you leave out the line where a=x? (she said with a smile)

I asked Scott to figure it last night--without paper and pencil--and Mr. Math Degree figured and figured and looked at the ceiling and squinted his eyes and (I was starting to feel much better about my math abilities) FINALLY came up with the answer...in *days.* (Which I've already forgotten. 670-something.)

The need for precision just comes from the story I was thinking of telling. When you say "a two-year-old" did something, the mental image I get is of an older two-year-old, in the throes of the terrible twos. When you say "a 22-month old" did something, my mental image is much more babyish and innocent. And has chubby baby legs. :) I think that's why moms give baby ages in months for so long.

But, yeah, absolutely; now that they're both big girls, they can be just plain old two years apart.

(Aside: Katie *just* said, "I hope Bryn calls me when she wakes up today.")

Susan said...

I know...when I reread the comment, I realized I'd changed from an X-Y-Z problem to an A-B-C one without changing all the internal references. Since I couldn't edit it...I'm so glad you filled in the blanks.