Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Elaine asked me to remind her what number comes after thirteen. So, I offered to count with her. We recited numbers together until the mid-thirties, at which point most numbers were accompanied by a break for hysterical giggling. Elaine still doesn't see why we would bother having so many numbers. They're so unnecessary! And therefore comical.

Once we got up to one hundred, Elaine seemed to have the pattern down, so I broke off and let her keep counting alone. Once she reached the hundred-teens, the following conversation ensued:

"Is that all the numbers?" Elaine asked.

"No, it goes on forever," I replied.


"Yeah, you can count forever."

"But then I won't eat anymore!" she exclaimed.

"You won't eat?" I asked her, baffled.

"If I keep counting forever," she explained in a nearly incoherent burble, "then I won't eat anymore! I have to eat too! And I'll miss school!"

Clearly, numbers are terribly dangerous objects. We really shouldn't keep so many around.


  1. I love it! That's some genuine mathematics knowledge there in that kid.

    Now you can teach her how addition is a useful shortcut to all that counting.

  2. Elaine makes total sense. Just don't tell her about counting backwards into negative numbers...