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.


  1. Bless you day you will be so proud you took the time for this.

  2. For a non-maths teacher, you are doing very well!


  3. I'm well impressed that he recognises 88 at such a tender age.
    And think how it is exercising your little grey cells.

  4. You fared a lot better than I would have done, I must say. But then, I'm a hundred and eleventy twelve.

  5. This will have me laughing for the rest of the day!

  6. Well done little cousin! Glad to see an early interest in numbers. We can talk numbers together at Christmas!

  7. Anonymous1:30 pm

    I would have been in a lot of trouble, had he kept asking me, I have dyscalculia!

  8. There's an excellent book called 'The Power of Ten'. You have time to get it for Christmas for him.

  9. Forty eleven. You make me laugh.

  10. Wow -- very impressive handling of the 11. I would have had a headache after the millions ....