Thursday, December 04, 2014
Granddaughter started piling up bricks.
She got quite a high stack.
And even higher. Ah, I thought: the simple pleasures of watching children play with bricks. I photographed her impressive pile.
Then it fell over. Grandson picked up two of her bricks. "That's eighty-eight," he remarked. I agreed.
He added a brick. "What's eight eight five?"
"Eight hundred and eighty-five."
Another brick. "What's eight eight five nine?"
"Eight thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine."
A further brick. "So what's eight eight five nine four?" he enquired.
"Um, eighty-eight thousand, five hundred and ninety-four," I said, rapidly tiring of this game.
"What's eight eight five nine four four?"
"Eight hundred and eighty-five thousand, nine hundred and forty-four," I groaned.
"So what's eight eight five nine four four eleven?"
"Well, you can't really put an eleven in a line of numbers like that."
"Yes, you can," he said, pointing at it.
"Well, all right," I said. "Eight million, eight hundred and fifty nine thousand, four hundred and forty eleven."
And so it went on, for some considerable time.
I'm not really into numbers.
But I did my best.
Meanwhile my husband, the retired accountant, sat peacefully looking at his iPad.
I think we got up to the billions, but with two elevens in there.
"Now I've covered up the first three numbers with stones," he said. "What's the number now?"
And so it went on till all the numbers were covered.
If he doesn't get his university entrance maths in due course, don't blame me. I never said I was a maths teacher.