The Ruark Kids

A bet leads to a lesson on Norse mythology

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On the way to pick up Thalia this afternoon, Siena remembered that she had promised to make a surprise something during her sick day today (throwing up again last night) to give to Thalia. Given that this was the first and only time she remembered this, it follows that she had not actually made a surprise anything.

Upset at this, Siena said that Thalia was going to ask what the surprise is as soon as Thalia sees her when we pick Thalia up. I said I would bet Siena that Thalia completely forgot and won’t ask at all. Siena took my bet, and the wager was on.

Siena stayed in the car while I went inside to retrieve Thalia. When Thalia climbed into the car, the first words out of her mouth were, “What’s the surprise?”

Siena barked a laughed and said, “I won the bet.” (At least I had set up the situation so she could be happy in winning the bet while concurrently being upset that Thalia had remembered.)

Thalia asked, “you won a vet?”

After we got her hearing sorted out, Thalia asked what a bet is. So I explained that two people might think there will be different outcomes on some event, like flipping a coin. So say one person says the coin will come up tails, and the other bets it will come up heads, and whoever is right gets to keep the coin.

Thalia asked, “So the surprise is I get a coin?”

After we got *that* sorted out, Siena told a most interesting tale.

She explained that the Jotun trolls (I think that’s what she was saying) made a bet with Loki. A Jotun troll bet his head, and Loki bet his head. The Jotun trolls won. But Loki told them he bet his head but not his neck, and they couldn’t cut off his head without touching his neck. So the trolls covered Loki’s mouth and sewed it shut so he couldn’t talk. Eventually Loki opened his mouth so hard he ripped it open and was able to talk again, but his mouth hurt for a long time after that.

A couple of thoughts went through my mind besides, “Awesome.” First, way to go D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths. Siena’s been reading that on her own, and it’s clearly leaving an impression on her. Second, I hope she keeps this up, even though it increases her nerd-branding risk. I love it when my kids can teach me stuff.

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