Right away, I got excited.

What a great parenting opportunity presented itself, I thought, what a wonderful way to show a child how to approach a problem-solving in a logical, intelligent way. Plus, to demonstrate that math can be useful in everyday life.

Monkey Princess frowned impatiently and repeated her question:

“Dad, I know that I’ve turned ten years old today. But how many seconds old I’ve turned?”

“This is a great outside-the-box question, and you probably already know the answer,” I cheered. ”You just don’t know that you know it. Why? Because the answer is playing hide-and-seek with you. It’s hiding. So, how you un-hide it?”

“Oh, I know how!” The Princess exclaimed.

“You probably remember that sixty seconds make up one minute.” I nodded. “And sixty minutes make up an hour.”

“That’s so-o-o boring… boreshious! ” The Princess sighed.

“Yet it’s exciting at the same time, because the answer can’t hide from you anymore, it’s running out of its covers!”

“I’ll snatch it and catch it!” The Princess smiled dreamily.

“Now, twenty four hours make up a day, and three hundred and sixty five days – a year“, I went on. “It’s a simple thingy called time. Well, not so simple, but we’d talk about this later. So far, we have only ten years to deal with. Two of them were leap years, by the way, so let’s not forget about adding two extra days to our magic calculation.”

Monkey Princess crouched and leaped two times, croaking.

“So, how do you solve this problem?” I asked. “The answer can’t hide from you anymore. It’s sitting right here, on the tip of your nose. What would be your approach?”

“I’m ten years old, finally, and I know how to solve problems!” The Princess announced proudly, scratching her nose.

“Of course you do! Just apply logic and use math!” I exclaimed.

“Dad, I know that you always try hard to make it right, to help – but you got it all wrong,” The Princess looked at me with pity and opened a computer that her grandparents gave her as a birthday gift an hour earlier.

Then she smiled lovingly to the flickering screen and shrugged:

“You know, I’ll just ask Siri.”