The perfect ten

Magnetic numbers on a fridge.

There are three kinds of people in this world: those who can add up and those who can’t. I *may* be a representative of the latter category there but, if recent developments are anything to go by, Dylan doesn’t look like he’s going to take after me and experience the humiliation of having to retake a certain important mathematics exam.

One of the things we got him for his birthday was an easel. It was an inspired choice. I can say this without any smugness as it was Kate’s idea and not mine. He loves it. I’m delighted to report that, by working nicely in collaboration with his latest little fascination, it has already started earning its floor space. He has learned to count to ten in a matter of days!

He started showing an interest in numbers a few days ago. Walking up to the telly and pointing at the digits displayed on the screen during one of the many wildly inappropriate adverts that punctuate cartoons on a certain children’s channel.

The following day, I got home to find Kate sat next to the easel with a proud look on her face and laddo with a piece of chalk in one hand. He was pointing to the numbers that she had written on the board for him in turn – just like an old-fashioned teacher would – and uttering vaguely recognisable sounds. The day after that, I got back to a similar scene – only he was enunciating the numbers perfectly. Easel does it eh? It was amazing!

He can’t get enough of them now. As yesterday’s Silent Sunday post proves, he’s sussed out that the phone has numbers on it – thankfully, 9 isn’t his favourite. He’s forever pointing at and shouting out the tiniest of figures on things like magazines, packaging and junk mail in the recycling pile which, helpfully, he distributes around the house.

Now I doubt being able to recognise these figures and to count to this tally is anything remarkable for this age – I don’t think we’ve got a miniature John Nash on our hands, which is probably a good thing anyway – but it’s great progress. Not only does it show an understanding of numbers and sequences, it also points to a sudden improvement in his speech.

Are we proud of him? You can count on it!


  1. Sara

    Magnetic numbers and letters were a big hit it my home to. The visual really stimulates the learning. You should be proud dad learning them in a week is pretty awesome xxx

  2. Richy

    That’s awesome – we’re really proud of Heather for getting the hang of numbers (and some letters) and she’s 3 1/2. Well done Dylan!

  3. Tom Briggs

    Thanks all! Yes, we’re very proud of him – even though he’s taken to skipping the number seven since I wrote this! He can still probably understand tax returns better than I can…

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