Why Eleven Is The First Big Number

Eleven is a big number

Sage suddenly looked up from his grilled cheese sandwich and fixed me with a gaze that was eerily intense for a five-year-old.

“Eleven is the first big number,” he announced.

I was startled, having never before associated grilled cheese with mathematical ruminations. “Wouldn’t the first big number be ten?” I asked. “It’s the first number with two digits.”

Sage regarded me with an almost parental combination of pity and barely contained frustration. My ignorance taxed him sorely, but after a moment, he resolved to take the high road and explain the obvious in a loving and patient manner.

He held out one hand. “Imagine I’m holding ten berries,” he began. “Now let’s count them.”

He counted to ten, pointing at each invisible berry as he went, then returned his gaze to my befuddled face. “That didn’t take very long, did it?”

There was clearly only one correct response. “No,” I replied obediently.

Satisfied, he continued his explanation. “Now, imagine I have ELEVEN berries in my hand. Let’s count them.”

He repeated the procedure, stopping at eleven, and regarded me triumphantly. “That took quite awhile, didn’t it?”

Again, there was only one correct response, and I gave it. “Yes, it did take quite awhile.”

Sage’s point was unequivocally proven. Just to make sure I got it through my sluggish adult brain, he added, “So THAT’S why eleven is the first big number.”

How could I argue with that? More specifically, WHY would I enter an unnecessary argument with a child who clearly could not be swayed?

Sage consumed his pudding in thoughtful silence while I contemplated my brief sojourn in the mysterious landscape of Kid Logic.

Advertisements

One comment

  1. sugars12 · · Reply

    Rebecca, thank you so much for the birthday call and best wishes. We need to do a bakery run again soon. I hope Sage is feeling better and look forward to 2014, when he discovers the #12 !!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: