The first steps in mathematics . . . COUNTING!
I grew up on a farm and keeping track by counting happened often -- counting chickens, counting sheep, counting the number of weeks until the early transparent apples will be ripe . . . and when I read Tom Wayman's poem in Poet Lore I found a similar habit of relentless counting. I have not been able to obtain more than short-term permission for posting -- and so I offer here just a sample and, beneath, a a link to the full poem.
from Fifty Years of Stacking Chairs by Tom Wayman
Two of these chairs at a time
are easily manageable, so back at the empty rows
I fold three and haul them with both hands
across the space. Next trip I try
four: fingers on each hand curved
under the metal backrests of
two chairs. Fifty years