Today, mtoto and I were on our way to Carouge market. It’s on Saturdays and Wednesdays.

We took a slightly circuitous route, which took us through the peaceful town hall garden and there we spotted two works of art by the Swiss sculptor Yvan Larsen. One was Tetras – Lyre 1964 (a pigeon to you and me) and the other was Manchots (penguins). We came through the Marie and out by the Eglise Sainte-Croix and as we passed some bicycle parking and a sign signifying a max speed of 20 km/h for cars mtoto remarked “there’s a zero papa” and “there’s a two papa”.

This was the first time that I had heard him remark unprompted that he could recognize some numbers in written form. A few weeks ago we saw a couple of snails and he pointed out that there were two of them. So these numbers are beginning to make an impression. Until now I had assumed that his ability to count up to around 20 was simply him using his memory to record a sequence of words, just as he sings the alphabet more or less in tune with the Sesame Street alphabet song. I’ll be paying more attention now to his use of numbers.