Learning to count

Here’s a bit more about growing up.

In the great scheme of things we all learn to count by numbers. But we don’t always start by numbers. It goes like this.

John, you can set the table tonight.

What are we having?

Forks and knives and spoons.

Or it might be – forks and knives and little knives.

Forks and knives and spoons meant main course and dessert. Forks and knives and little knives meant main course and bread and butter and jam.

There were variations to include such things as soup. And occasionally just little knives which could mean scones and cream or bread and dripping with salt and vegemite.

So forks and knives and spoons. Open the cutlery draw.

Forks –Daddy, Mummy, Robin, John – pause – AND David. ‘cos David was little and only had a spoon.

Knives – Daddy, Mummy, Robin, John – pause – AND David. ‘cos David was little and only had a spoon.

Spoons – Daddy, Mummy, Robin, John – pause – AND David. 

Then later as I grew up a bit I got better at counting. Not with numbers yet but with quantities.

John, you can set the table, please.

What are we having?

Forks and knives and spoons.

So forks and knives and spoons. Open the cutlery draw.

Forks –Daddy, Mummy, Robin, John, David – pause – AND Fiona. ‘cos Fiona was little and only had a spoon.

Knives – Daddy, Mummy, Robin, John, David – pause – AND Fiona. ‘cos Fiona was little and only had a spoon.

And so on.

Now don’t start getting into a tizz if you are on the end. If you weren’t born yet it’s no big deal. For goodness sake I missed out on the Battle of El Alamein and the time the Queen Mary came into Sydney Harbour and was nearly torpedoed by a Jap mini submarine. I missed lots of things that are essential and seminal moments in the growth of our nation.

And I got better at counting.

John, you can set the table tonight.

What are we having?

Forks and knives and spoons.

So to the cutlery draw.

Forks –Daddy, Mummy, Robin, John, David, Fiona – pause – AND Michael. ‘cos Michael was little and only had a spoon.

And then it was Michael can you set the table please. And some of us had left home and we knew how to count anyway – by numbers.

Life’s like that!

6 comments

  1. The days of dripping and salt on bread have sadly gone. Although I must admit after a roast I sometimes have a slice for old times sake – and the taste!!! Leave off the vegemite for me. I am sure my parents survived without having to think of their cholesterol.

    Liked by 1 person

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