K2's sitting here counting on the floor, and obviously not getting the whole base ten concept yet, because she asks, "Daddy, what comes after 29?" "What comes after 39?" every time.
And then suddenly, she doesn't mention 59, and she asks me, "Daddy, what comes after sixty ten?"
And I'm like, well, if she made it that far, do I tell her sixty eleven?
Because in French, that's what it is. There is no seventy-anything, it's sixty ten. And then eighty is four twenties, and ninety is four twenties ten.
Which all seems nuts to me, and makes me wonder how French people teach their kids to count? How do you explain those wacky exceptions? Is there a story there? Does it somehow make sense? Or do kids get told, c'est la vie, and that's just the way it is? Is there a classic moment where kids get baffled by the exceptions, or wonder why the system
breaks down changes, and go, "septante, huitante, neuvante!" Are there rebels who keep using them? Is it adorable or unsettling? Does it make them sound like French hillbillies or Belgians?
OK, if the Academie Francaise is calling it one, we can agree that it's a "bizzarrerie". Which apparently has something to do with the Celts. But it still doesn't explain how you explain it to kids.