Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Younger Child

“Mamma, I want to teach you addition”, said the older one. Since, even a month back, he was struggling to just grasp the concept, I couldn’t but agree to play with him.
“Okay, let us do five plus three equals ?” He wrote the numbers out.
“What do I now do?”, I asked, playing along.
“Which number is bigger?”, he asked patiently.
“Yes, five. Now keep it in your head.” He made me place my hand on my head. “Now, show me three fingers. Good. Which number is in your head? Yes, five. Now, which number comes after five.”
“I am not sure”, I stammered, playing along. But help was close on hand.
“Six!”, said the younger one.
“Very good. Now count the fingers”, prompted the older one.
“Six. Seven. Eight. Eight!!!”, announced the younger one triumphantly. “Now I want to do another addition.”

Soon, the two were happily playing away at addition, and the younger one got the mechanics of it in a jiffy. Whether he understands the concept of addition or not, I do not know, but the not-yet-three-year old can now perform simple addition sums with just a little bit of help.
Isn’t he lucky being born the younger child?

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