Friday, July 08, 2005


There's been a lot of counting going on around here these days. Zach has been revelling in the thrill of numbers. Sitting at the top of the slide, he calls out, "One! Two! Goooooo....." Lots of fun. Eating his dinner, he counts off mouthfuls. "One! Two! One!" Running laps through the living - dining - front hall loop, he bellows numbers as he thunders past. "One! Two! Two! Two! One!" Just imagine how much fun he'll have when he knows more than two numbers! Adam and Kyle are counting heavy machines through my front window. There must have been an awful lot of activity out there this morning, because suddenly I hear Adam's voice. "A TRILLION!!!" Kyle builds on this, "a trillion and ONE, a trillion and TWO, a trillion and THREE!" Adam catches the pattern and continues, "A trillion and FOUR!" Not to be outdone by his little brother, Kyle changes tactics. "Infinity! Infinity and beyond!" (Buzz Lighyear will never really die.) Adam is unfazed: "Infinity and beyond and ONE...!"


Blogger ieatcrayonz said...

I'm sensing a career in math for these young lads! Excellent use of infinity, boys.

7/08/2005 11:01:00 p.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

Infinity: the ultimate one-upper of counting.

I find most kids learn the meaning of "two" before any other number. I think it's because "two" is "one for each hand". A Good Number!

7/09/2005 07:58:00 a.m.  
Anonymous robin said...

I heard a nice stroy like that on the radio.

Grandad, what's the biggest number in the world? Is it one hundred and sixty eight thousand?

Well, that is big, but there's one hundred and sixty eight thousand and one, isn't there?

Oh. I was close then.

7/09/2005 09:08:00 a.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

Robin: good story. They're so logical - within the confines of their comprehension!

You've brought back a wash of memories with that little story...

I remember my grandad explaining that number never ended, because there would always be something left to count. I think the analogy he used was drops of water in the ocean. He also explained molecules to me, and magnetic forces, and degrees in a circle, and Shakespeare and Bach and opera. He drank the "tea" I made him from sugar and milk in my tiny teaset, and gave me real tea in a saucer when I was just a wee thing. I still love Bach, but never developed a taste for opera. I miss him!

7/10/2005 08:19:00 p.m.  
Anonymous Si said...

For some reason my kids seem to think a "google" is the largest number (way above infinity). Ive tried explaining its a website so many times now that i have given up :) and use the word with them.

7/11/2005 04:01:00 a.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

Si: In fact, "googol" is a number!! It's 10 to the 100th. Some mathematician let his kid name this number, apparently. You can "google" "big numbers", and get a whole pile of interesting sites. I used with my kids when they were littler.

And, as a result, you can so go beyond "googol". A googol and ONE...

7/11/2005 07:40:00 a.m.  

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