Math With Kids



1 + 2 = 3

Three is a tough number. I didn’t need a parenting book to tell me that. I lived it every time we visited my Aunt Monique’s house in Quebec City. My older sister would pair up with my cousin and I was the third wheel, perpetually left out, teased, and tormented. Three is a crowd.

Math that makes sense:

  • One kid +one friend for a total of two kids = child bliss
  • Two kids/siblings = playmates, siblings and friends, with the occasional knock-down drag out.
  • Two kids/siblings + two friends, (this is equal to four kids) = a lot of energy, it will be loud, but they will have fun.
  • Four kids/siblings = loudness, commotion, alliances are formed, but generally, everyone gets along.

Questionable Math:

  • One kid, no friends, no siblings = boredom, mom has to play cruise director and play umpteen rounds of “Go Fish” and Connect Four.
  • Two siblings + one friend/cousin = disaster.
  • One sibling + two friends = not sure why mom would do this to herself, but not ideal, and generally speaking, disaster.
  • Three siblings = Varying results, check back every five minutes for status update.
  • Five or more of any combination = loudness, fun, some trouble. (Welcome to my world! #momof5). Most days resemble a pint sized battle-royale, BUT, there are moments when everyone is getting along and having fun in a combination of pairings and duels and I just have to sit back and praise the Lord.

Moms of multiples have my respect. My five kiddos vary in age from 16 to 3, but I never had two (or more) newborns at any one time so we managed. A mother of triplets from Ireland once said to me, “Once you have three, you can have thirteen”. At the time I had one child and thought for certain she was delirious from having three infants.

However, having come from a family of three siblings and having had three myself, I can honestly say that three still is the most challenging number. My advice?

Stick with even numbers by borrowing other moms’ kids whenever you can.

They will be thankful for the help and you will get to put your referee hat on the shelf more often.


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