so today . . . elvis wore this shirt to school.usually i don't take that much note of what the kids are wearing, but sometimes they are more stylish than me--even the boys! (i think that is because their mother's dress them.) sometimes i can look at a tiny little tot dressed head to toe from the gap, and i think, "did their mom realize those cute clothes would only fit them for a couple of months as she was signing a second mortgage to pay for them?" it seems like such a waste, because most of the time, the boys don't even care what they are wearing. as long as there is an action figure on the front of their shirt, they are happy.
but little girls are a different story. they care. they have opinions. (i know this, because i raised a little girl.) i can usually tell which little girls choose their own outfits and which ones have moms who are still making those clothing choices for them. (ok, maybe this little girl had some say in her ensemble--even i admit that is an awful lot of sparkles!)(and you may have your doubts about that last one, but trust me, i am pretty sure that was mom's idea.)
but i digress. back to elvis and his shirt.
so today . . . elvis came to me and said, "look at my shirt! do you know how many eyes are on it?" i was sorting papers at my desk, so i quickly glanced at the eyes, mentally grouped and added them, and said, "eight."
"no," he said, "there are seven."
"no," i said, "i just counted them, there are eight." and i was thinking to myself two on top, three in the middle, two on the bottom--eight. two groups of two, one group of three--eight. you do the math . . .
. . . yeah, i was wrong. because while my eyes were seeing 2-3-2, my brain was thinking 3-2-3.
i have no explanation for why my brain lies to me sometimes, but it does. it tells me brownies are good for me. it tells me i can stay up until midnight on a school night. it tells me i can never have too many shoes. (oh wait, that last one is true.)
but i'm the teacher. i've been counting for a long, long time. and usually they believe whatever i tell them. but clearly elvis had counted those eyes more than once. he knew how many there were. "no," he said for the third time, "there are seven. look."
and then he made my kindergarten teacher's heart do a little dance, because he looked at his shirt, and he counted, "two, four, six, seven!"
yessss!!! the boy counted by twos!! without being prompted or convinced that it would save him time. he counted by twos, and then added the odd one!!! it was all i could do to keep from leaping up and squeezing him to death!
and so, it is clear to me that my work here is done. these kindergarteners are ready to move on to first grade. they can count by twos. they don't need me anymore.
(except to tie their highly fasionable shoes . . .
. . . in double knots.)