Tabitha was years old when we were playing a game of Uncle Wiggily.
In case you are not familiar with the game, I’ll briefly describe it. Uncle Wiggily is a board game with 100 spaces along a twisty path. Players draw cards; each card has a number and a brief poem. Perils and bonuses are judiciously spaced along the path.
Uncle Wiggily is approximately 10% more complicated than Candy Land (which is to say, not very complicated at all!)
Tabitha (3 years old): (Drawing a card for her first turn-it’s an 8) Got one Daddy!
T: What is it?
Me: Can you guess? Look closely.
T: (Quickly and with a big, eager smile on her face) Six!
Me: Good guess. It’s eight.
Me: Can you count to eight?
T: (Bouncing her piece along the path, ending near the henhouse on the farm-themed board) One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
By the cluck-cluck house!
Me: My turn. [Drawing a card-it’s a 10] What card did I choose?
Notice that she recognizes 10 but not 8. Also notice that she can count to a number that she doesn’t recognize.
I decide to test a hypothesis.
Namely that, while Tabitha can count correctly to eight, she would not notice if I skipped it myself. So I count to ten slowly, skipping eight.
Me: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, nine, ten.
T: [Oblivious] My turn.