My stocking this Christmas included some scratch-off lottery tickets. Of course, I asked Sophie to help me scratch them off.
Each time she uncovered a number with the edge of her penny she gleefully announced what number she found. Being three years old and being thus unable to read, she declared most of them were “eight.” I took the chance to point out the numbers’ correct names.
“That’s a five!” I’d say, after scratching off one of the “winning numbers” spaces. When she later uncovered a second five under “your numbers,” I was able to say, “That’s another five, just like this one here. See? Five… five!”
Attentive readers will at this point suspect that uncovering such matching numbers would indicate a winning ticket. I, at the time, didn’t even notice. The only point of having two identical numbers was to show Sophie what they looked like. Immediately after saying, “it’s just like this other five up here,” I announced to the other adults, “aww, no matches; this one’s a loser.”
They had to correct me. And then review all the other tickets we’d done.
(It only won $2, but I could as easily have been discarding a $2,000 game in favor of a reading lesson.)