Thursday, February 5, 2009

Numbers Galore

Those who know me, know that although I have many character traits in common with Mary Poppins (I even had someone tell me I reminded her of Julie Andrews!) --being "practically perfect in every way" I do have one teeny weeny itsy bitsy flaw.

I am numbers illiterate. I don't know what you call that disability--it's kind of like dyslexia with numbers! I find it quite humoruous--Tom doesn't. I can sign my credit card slip at the grocery, get in the car and be driving home and suddenly have this thought, "I wonder how much I just spent?"

However, my daughter Kaleigh makes up for my insufficiencies. She's always had a real knack for numbers--and a love for number games. When she was a preschooler she absolutely loved the sorting games. We had these little plastic bears that she played with all the time. When we were in the car she begged to play "the numbers game." This was in her early elementary school years. So--we'd play. I'd say, "You have one peppermint candy, you add 4 then take away 2. How many do you have?" While I was still figuring she'd shout out, "3!" In a minute I'd say, "That's right!" The games got harder until I couldn't play anymore!

Just yesterday she and I were riding to church and she said, "Mom, did you know that right now--only this year--if you take my age, and add it to the age you were when I was born, you get your age. This is the only year that will work. It took me a minute, but sure enough--if I added 15 (Kaleigh's age) to 30 (the age I was in Kaleigh was born) I got 45 (my age today). It took both of us a minute, (actually I was still trying to understand what she was adding) to make sure this was so--only this year. And sure enough it is. Next year Kaleigh will be 16--add that to 30 and you get ...hmmm....wait a still get the age I will be then, 46. You know what? I honestly can't remember what point Kaleigh was trying to make last night, but it was a good one, and it did work. I'll get her to explain it again to me today and I'll update this thought tomorrow.

But this I do remember about last night's conversation: Kaleigh told me that Mikel's full name has 15 letters in it. Kaleigh's has 16 and TJ's has 17. How cool is that???

Mikel Lorin McCoy (15)
Kaleigh Rhea McCoy (16)
Taylor Jamison McCoy (18)

oops. I'll have to tell Kaleigh that TJ's name actually has 18 letters not 17. Never mind...I'll get back with Kaleigh and get her to walk me slowly through these numbers wonders.

In the meantime, just know there must be numerical dyslexia and I must have it!


happymcfamily said...

Ugg... Brett has a HORRIBLE case of that. When we first got married and he sent a bill to the credit card company with a check ending in something like 25 cents when it was supposed to be 52 cents and it would have cost me an enormous charge (if I didn't argue with the company about it) because the full amount wasn't there (even though it was only about 30 cents difference)... that's when we decided that paying the bills was my job :)

jvap said...

Hello! I just found your blog today in my Google Reader. :)

This is so funny! I am forever saying numbers in the wrong order! Someone will give me a phone number 555-1234 and I'll say to myself 555-1342 and then I'll write it down correctly while saying the incorrect numbers to myself! Very confusing! I think I'm just thinking too fast sometimes...

By the way, there is a form of dyslexia that is with numbers as opposed to letters. It's called dyscalculia. There is some interesting information on it at