It Depends on What the Definition of Is Is . . . or Any Other Word, Really

Pebbles has a rather odd different way of interpreting the world. One of her diagnoses is Asperger’s Syndrome. At times it causes us to butt heads. Other times I’m amazed as I see the world through her beautiful baby blues.

What? You haven’t seen them yet? Well, gaze upon these little beauties for a few seconds and let all your troubles melt away.


Sometimes I just need a gazing-at-the-pools-of-blue moment to help me cope with all the screaming.

What? You haven’t read about Pebbles’ screaming yet? Go ahead. I’ll wait for you to get back.

So The Rock, Pebbles and I are riding along in the car last week, and I’m telling him about an epiphany I had in a homeschool session that day.

Although Pebbles is smart as a whip and sharp as a tack she has difficulty reading the numbers 13 through 19.

She can count to 100 and beyond with little effort. But when she looks at the numbers, the teens stump her. Partly because of her yet-to-be correctly diagnosed learning disabilities and partly because, as it turns out, the naming convention for numbers between 10 and 20 makes absolutely no sense whatsoever!

Think about it. You have your 20s, which all begin with a 2 in the 10s place. Add a number to the ones place and it becomes 20-whatever-that-number-is. The same with all other 2-digit numbers. Except the freakin’ teens. What’s up with that anyway?

Whose idea was it to call them teens and to make it a suffix rather than a prefix? Like all the other 2-digit numbers.

Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense, and a heckuva lot easier for kids to learn (especially kids like Pebbles, who thinks in black and white and absolutes), if the teens were called the oneties?

. . . eight, nine, onety, onety-one, onety-two, onety-three . . .

Now doesn’t that make a lot more sense?

Or even if they just had to be the teens, then why not use it as a prefix? Like
. . . eight, nine, teen, teenty-one, teenty-two . . .

Like all the other 2-digit numbers.

But, no, someone at the English number naming convention had to go and make it all confusing for kids like Pebbles. Who, like I mentioned, thinks in absolutes and in black and white.

So when she sees the number 14, for example, Pebbles is stumped. She’s not sure if that’s a 14 or a 41.

As it turns out, her confusion is more common than I realized. The all-knowing Oracle Google informed me that many kids struggle with this confusion.

Which brings me back to our conversation in the car and how all this rambling I’ve done is actually tied together.

First: I’m awed and amazed whenever I glimpse the world through Pebbles’ eyes. I truly do not think like she does. Which makes for some interesting, and also some terribly frustrating, homeschooling moments.

Second: As I’ve learned how Pebbles’ mind works, and how to think more like her myself, I’ve had many epiphanies like this one about the teens.

Third: Because of her literal thinking, which I occasionally forget about, there are times when I think Pebbles is arguing or being a little know-it-all. When she is actually just telling it as she sees it.

Which is what almost caused a problem in the car as I was explaining my teen-piphany to The Rock.

Me: “It turns out that Pebbles’ confusion about the teens is pretty common. Many kids struggle with the same thing.”

Pebbles: “I’m NOT a little kid!!”

Me: “What? I didn’t say you were.”

Pebbles: “Yes. You DID!! You said I’m a little kid and I’m NOT!! I’m a big kid! I’m 8 years old!!”

Me: “I didn’t say you’re a little kid. I was telling Daddy . . . ”

Pebbles: “You DID call me a little kid. You said, “Mini-kids have a hard time with teens like I do. And I’m NOT a mini-kid!”

Ohhhhh. Yeah. Another epiphany moment right there. And a perfect example of that absolute, black and white, literal thinking I was telling you about.

Once I explained about homophones and many vs. mini it was all good. Incoming meltdown avoided. Phew.

It really does depend on what the definition of Is is. Or Many. Or Mini. Or whatever.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

About Mai Stone

“A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs…jolted by every pebble on the road.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher ~ A sense of humor is essential for surviving the pebbles on life’s road. Especially when they’re the size of boulders.
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5 Responses to It Depends on What the Definition of Is Is . . . or Any Other Word, Really

  1. Underdaddy says:

    So does “like” mean similar to or that I enjoyed it? Don’t you love the English language? Both probably work. Calamity Jane is a backwards writer, mirror writing looks better than the conventional way sometimes for her.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. scifihammy says:

    Sounds like you are learning tons of Patience as well as how to see the world differently. 🙂


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