Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Many Faces of Fred

Shawn here. Fred is a very versatile guy at our house. I’ve been calling Nessa “Fred” at times for a couple of years now, often when I go into her room in the morning:

“Who’s this?”
“It’s your daughter.”
“Oh! Hi Fred!”
“No, your daughter Nessa Rose Brooks!” (usually said with a giggle, unless Daddy has bad timing or pushes it too far)

Nessa started taking allergy drops a year ago, and we need to count after placing a drop in her mouth. I soon changed the numbers to be:

“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, Fred, ten”

This can be expanded if you need to count higher:

“… eighteen, nineteen, Fredteen, twenty …”
“… twenty-eight, twenty-nine, twenty-Fred, thirty …”

and so on. For a time I would count and stop at Fred, and Nessa would say “Tehh!” (“ten” without the “n” sound because she isn’t supposed to close her mouth or swallow), but that seems to have gone by the wayside.

This has been around long enough to become a running gag. Tami counts with Fred as well, and when she received her Garmin runner’s watch she named her virtual running partner Fred, because his pace is between nine and ten minutes. :-)

Recently, Nessa decided that Fred belongs between eleven and twelve. So now when I count, the conversation usually goes something like:

“No, Daddy! Fred comes after eleven.”
“Noooh--it comes after nine!”
“It comes after eleven. You can’t just move Fred!”

Notice that I’m the one who’s moving Fred. I guess that’s a measure of my success in introducing Fred as a number. Perhaps I can use Fred to teach Nessa base eleven arithmetic in a few years.

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