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Kids running late for school? Here’s a word problem so complex they’ll be early for the next two years.

Kids running late for school? Here’s a word problem so complex they’ll be early for the next two years.

“No, dear, I’m not going to run red lights because you wouldn’t get out of bed.”

Morning math word problem for the kids. Best to ask them minutes after they open their eyes, to see how quickly their analytical brains shift into high gear. I swear, they’ll love it.*

If it takes Billy 17 minutes to walk and he leaves school at 7:25 and it takes Beau 6 minutes and he gets a ride with mom, but they leave at 7:40, who’s late?

My kids look puzzled. My kids have yogurt on their chin. Baffled.

Trick question because we don’t know what time school starts! Ha ha ha! I’m so funny. I’m going to start a stand-up comedy shop for math dork parents, it’s going to be a huge success. We’ll force math students from third grade to come and listen to the stand-up as detention for doing poorly on their math exams! Oh my, I have it all figured out.

Back to serious math …

If school starts at 7:50 (I checked, it does), who’s more on time?

“More on time?” There is no “more on time.” There’s early, on time and late. In fact, there’s not really even on time because that would mean something like exactly on time and who’s counting? They’re only counting early and late.

In answer to the morning howl of, “Can’t we just take the car?” The answer is clear: no.

Why, because you can’t bend time. You can shift it, mold it or even change it. There’s talk of “making up time” on a long car trip, yes, by driving 67 miles an hour after Sebastian had to pee (again … ) so 67 for 2 hours will make up the 12-minute break over going just 64 miles per hour … or will it? Where’s my calculator?

Start early. Relax. Enjoy. Relish the extra time.

Talk to your friends, play a little kickball. Breathe in the fresh air. OK, the last one is a little much for an 11-year old. But kickball, kickball is valid until at least 12.

No, we’re not taking the car to make up time. Get up earlier, get your act together. I swear, it’ll make you a better person if you’re early for the rest of your life.**

I’m filing this under joy as I’m a morning person and at least one of my kids is, uh, not.

* OK, fine, I’m kidding. Only dorky math-geek parents will love it.
** Of this, I am sure.

About The Author


I don't like to call them excuses. They're priorities. With a handful of exceptions, we usually have a choice in our actions. They just need to be prioritized.


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