If one were to measure growth of a little person based on their reaction to advent calendars (and I am going to), one would be able to chart significant growth and change from year 3 to year 4. Last year's reaction to advent calendars by my son spoke volumes about his concept of time. "Tiny chocolates behind little doors? That is all I need to know. Let's open all those doors, get those chocolates out of their little windows as soon as." The idea that those little chocolate squares are behind little doors that have numbers on them was unimportant to him. The idea that those same numbers indicated that the doors were meant to be opened in a sequence was also lost on him. In fact, the idea that the shape of those numbers 3, 18, 23 ...were an amount of something or ordering something was also not quite in place yet. If Christmas had come as fast as the chocolates counted down towards it, it would have been a very short season. I had to hide it between times and if I wasn't looking, a whole week could be ingested in one shot.
This year, the response has definitely changed. "What number is it today Mama?" Thirteen.
"What's that?" 1-3
"1-3, 1-3, 1-3, I found it, 1-3 Mama. 1-3".
The shape that makes 13 is now a number on a door-a door that should be opened before another door. After a certain number of doors, it will be Christmas.