Click! Click! Click!

I seem to be aging rapidly as my kids are growing, and I am worrying about – among other things – how my brain is behaving. It doesn’t appear to be as capable as it once was of handling simple math, for example. It doesn’t seem to recall simple words as quickly as it once did. Words like “anonymous” and “toaster” occasionally elude me.

This is annoying, so I decided to play some simple brain games online to help my brain revive.

I’m happy to have this option. In fact, I rather enjoy puzzles, and my youth is filled with video game madness. So I was looking forward to this task.

Unfortunately, these games are not terribly fun. They are okay – and I would certainly recommend them to anyone worried about their brain’s decline – but when it comes right down to it, I struggle through some of the games.

After a particularly poor experience trying to figure out a tip for a waitress, I decided to play Countdown. It is an incredibly simple (though not easy) math game with three numbers and a goal. You can choose your own difficulty level, so I chose “2” out of 10 (“very easy”).

There are three math problems, and no time limit. I love that there is no time limit. But it took me ten minutes to get the first answer. And after spending ten minutes on the second problem, I whined aloud.

Dylan was playing the piano in the other room. “Dylan,” I called over the piano. “Can you help me?”

Usually this means he needs to lift a box for me, or reach something on a top shelf. But today, it was math.

“What?” he asked, coming in, ready to lift.

“I can’t do this math problem,” I said. I explained the concept.

Dylan grabbed the mouse, went click! click! click! and the problem was done.

“Thanks,” I said.

“Sure,” he said, and went back to the piano.

I went on to the next problem. As I was studying it, and studying it, and studying it, Shane came home from school. He walked in while I was still perplexed.

“That looks like fun,” he said.

“I am not having fun,” I said. “Go ahead. Give it a try.”

Shane clicked! six times before he had the answer.

I let him do the next three problems by himself. And I went off to do the laundry.

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