Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Counting and Koala Bears

Odessa seems to be confused about numbers. This isn't all that surprising because a. she's two, and b. I'm her mom and I don't even know my 6, 7 and 8 times tables.

But Dessa is moved to count things. We'll be sitting on the couch with a book, looking at a page full of ducks, and she'll want to count them over and over again. This is her method: she starts with her finger on the first duck and moves across the page: "uhn, too...fie, ix, Mun, Daddy, bikikle, munty." If you didn't get that, she said, "One, Two, Five, Six, Mom, Daddy, Bicycle, Monkey." Which is obviously wrong.

Sometimes when we're reading together and she starts counting ducks, I'm like "Child, what kind of bullshit is this? It's One, Two, THREE...." And she repeats after me, "uhn, too, TEEEE." But then she goes back to the page and counts them again: "uhn, too, fie, ix, Mun, Daddy, Mun, Daddy, keeker." And last time I checked, kiefer wasn't a number. But whatever: she's small and confused, and I can relate to that.

When I was about 4, I had a real problem figuring out the deal with koala bears. I regularly grilled my mom on the subject:

"Mama?" I asked her. "Girls can't marry other girls, right?"
Nope. Girls couldn't marry other girls, especially in West Virginia in 1982.
"And boys can't marry other boys?"
"So, who can koala bears marry?"
The answer was always the same: koala bears marry other koala bears.

This dissatisfied me like you wouldn't believe.

I had somehow come to the conclusion that there were three sexes: men, women and koala bears. And HOW was my Mom supposed to know that? So I kept asking her about the conjugal habits of koala bears and I think she just figured I was really into koala bears. Maybe too into them--but I was four and would probably grow out of it.

I don't remember how all this was cleared up, but eventually it was. And Odessa will probably learn to count to ten someday. It's possible, however, that she'll never learn her 6, 7 and 8 times tables. But that's okay--you don't have to use those very often anyway.


  1. have you heard this -

  2. I snorked out a little bit of coffee reading this (both the first AND the munty-th time). Thank you.