Shapes and dimensions

On Friday, my oldest stayed home with the first rumblings of the illness that knocked all but my Patient Husband flat to the ground for the weekend.

While he was lying on the couch, I made lunch for Kiddo#3 before he went to kindergarten. Kiddo#3 said something about shapes: a three-sided shape is, for example, a triangle. I felt enlightened.

Kiddo#3 continued until he reached an eleven-sided shape, which neither he nor I knew, and I said, “I know it has a name, but I’m not sure what. I know a twelve-sided shape is a dodecagon.”

Kiddo#1 roused himself from death to let us know that he used to know all the names of the polygons up to a gazillion-sided shape because I’d printed off something from the internet for him when he was in 4th grade. And never one to leave well enough alone, Kiddo#3 said, “What’s a 43-sided polygon?” and Kiddo#1 said, “A tetracontakaitrigon.”

After two or three of those, I turned to him, grinning, trying to analyze his face. When he caught me, I said, “You’re making it up?”

No, he’d just remembered the formula and was applying it.

I asked if a point was a one-dimensional object, Kiddo#1 said, “No, it’s a zero-dimensional object.”

When I said I remembered that now, he continued:

“A line is a one-dimensional object. A polygon is in two dimensions. A three-dimensional object is a polyhedra, so the third dimension is depth. The fourth dimension is time, and the Fifth Dimension is a bad rock band.”

I looked around at him again, and he’d said that with a totally straight face. I know my Patient Husband has said that to him before. I’m pretty sure I have. I also know Kiddo#1 wouldn’t be able to pick a Fifth Dimension song out of a lineup.

But again, he wasn’t smiling. And this time, I didn’t ask if he was making it up.


  1. Ivy

    “Speaking of ways, by the way pet, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”

    1. philangelus

      He never got into that book, sadly.

  2. capt_cardor

    If an eleven sided figure follows the greek numerology it would be an endecagon.

    1. philangelus

      The website says hendecagon. (Depends on whether you pronounce the H, I guess.)

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