Tonight the girls asked me if I loved being in third grade when I was a kid. Um, no. But I couldn't say that to them. They are a nervous wreck about the first day of school as it is.
"Of course! Third grade was awesome!"
But it wasn't. It was my worst year ever. Third grade was when you learned multiplication tables and I was terrible at them. We had a whole wall display with numbers from 0 to 12 listed vertically, a mural of the sky and we each had a paper cut out of a hot air balloon that we had decorated and put our names on. All of our hot air balloons started on zero and every day we took a timed quiz. If we passed, then our teacher (her name was Miss Martin and she had long blond hair) would make a big production out of moving our hot air balloon up to the next number. And then the next day the whole process repeated itself, taking the next quiz, and moving your hot air balloon. It was the first thing that we did every morning. So, needless to say, we all studied like maniacs the night before and then crammed every little math fact that we could on the bus ride to school. We walked down the halls chanting, "Two times two is four! Two times three is six! (etc. etc.)," ready to kick that quiz's rear end.
I did fine until I encountered the 8's. The 8's were not very friendly to me and by Christmas, we were not even on speaking terms. Week after week, my hot air balloon stayed on the 8's. I watched in sorrow as everyone else passed me. I gave up on math all together. I hated it. I hated multiplication. I hated hot air balloons. I hated Miss Martin. And I hated 3rd grade.
And so, there was no way that I could answer the girls' question honestly this evening. But, we have practiced multiplication all summer, so I think that they will be just fine. :)