Math from the past

So Phoebe is developing an interest in reading and doing it at a level that's outpacing her peers. It's great and a little astonishing for Kates and I to watch. We're proud parents.

Of course, we want to foster that interest. After a conversation about it with Kates and Phoebe the other night, I decided last night it was finally appropriate to unpack a box I had stored away of my childhood books and some toys. Classics like "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" and "Superfudge." Beverly Cleary books and The Boxcar Children. Some history books, too, about some of my favorite subjects - Abraham Lincoln, Titanic and Jackie Robinson.

Phoebe proudly collected a stack that interested her. And I made sure she included the classics. 

There were other highlights within the time capsule. I gave an ALF puppet to Faye and told the girls they needed to share my stuffed Popple. Phoebe also got a kick out of putting together a 3D puzzle I had in the shape of a clear plastic cube.

I showed them my collection of Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars and California Raisins figurines. Despite their pleas, I'm not giving up those yet.

But here's the best part. Tucked in the shoebox with the California Raisins and the 3D puzzle was my Texas Instruments "Little Professor" calculator

A Christmas present when I was maybe 6, I spent a lot of time solving math problems on that calculator, reveling when it lit up because I'd answered the problem correctly and taking pride in progressing through the levels. Like the books, I had been looking forward in recent months to passing it down to Phoebe. 

At first it didn't appear meant to be. When I placed new batteries in the calculator and pressed the on button, I got a scrambled screen and no response from pushing the buttons.

After a few minutes of recalling my memories of the toy to Kates and still not getting it to work, I was resigned to tossing it in the trash.

Then Phoebe took it from my hands, started pressing the buttons and it began to work.

"Needed a kid's touch," Kates said.

Phoebe proceeded to play with it until I had to yank it from her hand because it was her bedtime. But I was filled with pride that she had taken such an interest in it. She tucked it away in the drawer of her nightstand to be played again later.

I posted the photo below on Facebook, and friends of my age shared similar sentiments and memories.
I wanted one of those so badly!

Whoa, flashback! I had forgotten my love for that thing! 

I remember those! It's been a long time!

Wow, blast from the past! I loved this game!!  

I had no clue it had been such a popular toy in its day.

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