Bobby learns to count

Chocolate boxBobby surprised us all when he showed a great interest in learning how to count. Grot boy had bought me some special chocolates for Valentine’s Day and the box sat open on the table.

Bobby sat staring at the chocolates while we ate dinner, not saying a word. “Bobby is awfully quiet,” grot boy said. “I think he’s mesmerised by the chocolates.” I was almost as surprised as Bobby by the beautiful box of chocolates but for a different reason – grot boy isn’t great at romantic gestures.

Finally, we heard Bobby muttering to himself, “There are lots of chocolates in that box. I wonder how many there are. I wonder if I ate one, would there still be lots?” I had been a statistician early in my career so pounced on what seemed like Bobby’s invitation to give him a lesson in numbers.

Putting one chocolate in each paw at a time I explained, “Here is one chocolate, here is another. Now you have two chocolates.” Bobby looked delighted! “Now, if I give you another chocolate you’ll have three,” I continued.

But this was more than a little bear could manage in one lesson and Bobby became flustered. Grot boy calmed Bobby down saying, “It’s alright Bobby, you can count to two and then, if there’s more, you just say there are lots.

Bobby was happy with this solution and told us, “Learning how to count is fun. I could spend all day counting chocolates. That way Chocolate counting_BobbyI could keep an eye on them so none disappeared.” I was worried that the chocolates were more likely to start disappearing into Bobby’s tummy.

Grot boy suggested, “If Bobby likes counting so much, he could become an actuary.” I thought of the actuaries I worked with and wondered whether Bobby really had the personality for the job. Actuaries have a reputation for being even more dull than accountants.

I wanted to encourage Bobby’s counting skills so agreed with grot boy. “I’m sure Bobby would make a very good actuary.” I didn’t add what I was also thinking, “Since he’ll never learn to count past 5 we won’t have to worry about him eating too many chocolates.”

©, 2013


One thought on “Bobby learns to count

  1. I’m just wondering how long that box of exotic chocolates lasted, especially with the three of you watching the box?

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