Maya has been able to say her numbers, in order, from one to thirteen for a long time. I naturally assumed that this meant she could count, but about three months ago, Michael came home excited to show me a new "trick" he learned about on the RadioLab podcast. Apparently when babies are born, their brains count logarithmically. We teach them, over time, to count linearly. He asked Maya (2.5 years old) to hand him one piece of dog food. She did. Then he asked her to hand him two pieces of dog food. She reached in, grabbed a whole handful, and gave it to him. I know it doesn't seem very interesting, but we're kinda dorky and this whole toddler brain development thing is pretty fascinating. Apparently when she said the numbers from one to thirteen she was just repeating the pattern of counting without actually understanding it. So on Thursday of this week we were visiting Michael's family. They are all pretty much equally dorky (sorry guys ~ but you know it's true :D) so we wanted to show them. Michael asked Maya to hand him one m&m, and she did. Then he asked her to hand him two m&ms...and she handed him TWO!!! We repeated the "experiment" a couple times to make sure it wasn't a fluke, and lo and behold, she has moved beyond the infant-built-in-counting-method and onto linear counting. Dude. This stuff is so cool.
On a related note ~ I was searching for that RadioLab link, so I typed "babies count logarithmically" into Google. Michael's blog came up as the number 8 search result ~ you should check it out!
I don't have pictures of Maya counting dog food or m&ms, but here is an unrelated pic of the girlies eating breakfast for ya (and in case you are curious, Maya is eating chocolate chip walnut pancakes ~ yum!)