|How many zeros in a trillion?|
This has nothing to do with the national debt. It has to do with skip counting: what modern education calls counting by twos, fives, tens, etc.
Jonah, little ball of brilliance though he is, had a really hard time learning to count by twos. Wailing, rending of garments, gnashing of teeth. A typical school day, really. And, as usual, he seemed to think it was my fault, like I invented the idea or something.
He often acts as though the things I teach him aren't really important, just chosen arbitrarily and capriciously by me to torment him. (Like I have time for that.) Or, maybe he just thinks they are hard, and he needs an excuse for all the dramatics he uses to avoid them. In an attempt to further his point, he test me. If this is so important, let's see if Mom knows it.
"Mom? Can you count by 2's?"
"Yes. You know I can. I have been counting with you all day."
"Can you count by hundred's?"
"Well, do it then."
"100, 200, 300..." and so on, I counted to one thousand. Thwarted, but not satisfied, he continued.
"Can you count by a trillion?" It was clearly a dare.
"One trillion, two trillion, three trillion..." I began to wonder when I could stop. What comes after a trillion? And how many trillions does it take to get there? What was that going to be like? "Two hundred million trillion, three hundred million trillion..." My mind boggled. I didn't have all day to stand in my kitchen counting by a trillion to prove something to my six year old. Somewhere around twenty trillion, my counting trailed off.
"Why did you stop?"
"Well, I..." I started to explain to him, what I just explained to you. But, I didn't get very far.
"I guess you aren't so smart after all," he said, and he kind of wonder away.
"Maybe not," I hollered after him. "But at least I can skip count by two,"
Okay, no, I didn't. But I did get to show off my skip counting skills for the rest of the week while we practiced and practiced and practiced, until he was ready to kill me, or get it right. He got it right. And, he was so proud of himself.
The hardest won victories are the sweetest.
Now, onto telling time. I anticipate more drama...at first. I"ll let you know how it turns out.