Wednesday, August 16, 2006

the meaning of numbers

Ro has an interesting relationship with numbers. He definitely doesn't perceive them the way adults do and not the way most other kids seem to either. He seems to be a very literal person in some ways. He refused to count above 20 for more than a year because he was convinced I was saying a nonsense word between the real numbers. 21-22-23-24-25-etc sounded like I was saying wizzywazzle 1 wizzywazzle 2 wizzywazzle 3, etc. He would just get really annoyed with me for being silly. I couldn't figure out how to convince him that 21 was an actual number until I struck upon counting out chocolate chips and asking, "do you want 19 chocolate chips or 25 chocolate chips?" Random objects didn't work because he had to care about the numbers and their meaning to make the connection.

Anyhow, Ro turned five a few weeks ago and it's kicked him into some kind of mental quagmire on the meaning of time and numbers and even his identity. He was four years old in the same way his name is Roen. If I offered him five or six cookies he would only take four because he was four years old. So, I think he feels I've pulled the rug out from under him in some way. Some days he's very happy to be five. Other days he asks to be four years old again and seems almost depressed when I tell him that isn't possible because age numbers only go one way. The next day, he wants to go ahead and be six years old and asks over and over, "how many days will I be five? How many days until I'm six?"

I told him we were going to his friend Henry's birthday on Saturday and that his friend will be four years old. Ro didn't have the reaction I would expect. He was upset because ..."Henry was going to take his four." Panic ensued because he was having another 'I want to be four' day. It's just so tough to explain things sometimes.

2 Comments:

Blogger Tina said...

Hi G, it's Tina. Lauren and I tagged you and the kids to post 5 wierd things about you. See my post from Sept. 4. Happy Labor Day!

3:12 PM  
Blogger Linda Rae said...

how come at the age of thirty this makes perfect sense to me..

9:02 PM  

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