How many fingers am I holding up?

While I prepared dinner this afternoon, Fainjin was in the loungeroom colouring in, practising his writing, and – as it turned out – playing about with numbers.

“Hey Mum!” he yelled at me as if there were miles between us instead of just a hallway.  “I worked something out!  Five plus one, equals, SIX!”

“Yes it does,” I replied, wondering what he might be counting.

A minute later he yelled again.  “And five plus two, equals, SEVEN!”

“That’s right.”

Having established a pattern, the next sum was immediate: “Five plus three is EIGHT!”

I put the veges in the oven and went to see what he was up to.  He was just writing numbers and adding them up, as far as I could see – not counting anything in particular.  “The first one has to be five,” he told me, but I still don’t know quite why.  “Five plus five is ten!”

I went back to the kitchen.  After a little while, he called out, “Mum!  What’s ten plus ten?”

“I think you can figure that out,” I encouraged him.

Later, over dinner, I realised I hadn’t heard his answer.  “Did you figure it out?”

“Yes!” he was proud of himself.  “I counted on my fingers.  Ten plus ten is… twenty-one!”

The Dad and I exchanged glances.

“Hmmm, really? Perhaps we should check.”  I held up both hands and we agreed that was ten.  Then I raised one finger at a time and we counted on from eleven.  Twenty!

Fainjin looked thoughtful.  “Maybe I have more fingers than you.”

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

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One Response to “How many fingers am I holding up?”

  1. Graham Says:

    I love it. Lateral thinking!

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