The other day, I was in the car, taking my son to school and out of the blue, he said “Huh…One and one is eleven”.
I could see in the mirror that he was holding up one finger on each hand and looking at them as though he had just had the ultimate revelation.
“Silly Goose,” I said. “1 + 1 is 2.”
I held up one finger on each hand and asked him to count how many fingers I was holding up.
He counted, “1, 2.”.
Then, I held up 2 fingers on one hand and one finger on another and asked him to count again. He counted to 3 and I said, “That’s right! 1 + 2 equals 3!”
We went through a number of basic math problems this way. Then, just when I thought he was getting it…Just when I thought my 3 year-old was finally understanding the basics of addition, he stopped me.
“But Mom!” He almost shouted.
“One…” He held up one finger.
“…And one…” He raised a finger on his other hand.
Then, he slowly moved his hands together so that his fingers were almost touching. He said, “…is eleven.”
I watched his demonstration in the rear-view mirror. Finally, I got it…Yes, when you put two ones next to each other, they do make eleven.