J-Bone loves numbers.
Everywhere he can spot them (books, remote controls, computer keyboards, clocks, buses, supermarket aisles, and more) he points and shouts them out.
Some cunning parental opportunities have presented themselves: for example, distracting him from whatever compels him to run away in the supermarket by asking him what number aisle we’re in.
He knows the numbers for CBeebies (1,2,4), even if he rarely moves his fingers quickly enough to type them in. He now knows that numbers next to each other make new numbers – with thirteen sitting at the far edge of his consciousness. He has little patience for numbers in Welsh. He often proclaims what time it is, very recently expanding his repertoire from six o’clock. He lives in a world signposted with numerals.
It’s been fascinating for us, as it must be for all parents, to see what he latches onto and what captures his imagination. The temptation is to let our minds run across the next twenty years and imagine him in some number-crunching career or graph-paper hobbies (if such careers will exist in the Skynet-future), but it’s best to remember that this is who he is now, it’s what he enjoys now, and we live all three of us in the moment. Even if it is always ‘six a’tock’.
We’ve also used this opportunity to nudge him towards letters: a bit more of a challenge since they represent more than themselves. 1 is one, performs always as a one would and describes its function pretty neatly; the same cannot really be said of R, the pirate letter. He’s understood S for some time, and P, but vowels are well tricky. Those ancient Semitic languages were really onto something by leaving them out; Hebrew Countdown must be a doddle.
Admittedly, this isn’t an especially insightful post, but I’m not capable of that much profundity, to be fair, and part of the reason for the blog is to record the things that might elsewise be forgot. This is exactly the kind of thing that might get mentioned once or twice in twenty years’ time, if remember at all. Assuming that the whole internet-based civilisation we inhabit doesn’t collapse by then, this generation of kids are going to be awash with data and photos and videos of their early lives; I think there are maybe a dozen pictures I can recall of my first five years and my Mum thought my Dad’s enthusiasm for taking pictures was pretty excessive.
Not much space for a Proustian rush in this digitally curated landscape. But I’m sure his brain will find a way to manufacture them. Brains, eh?