Time Troubles

Our house, though full of nerds and future nerds, seems to have some trouble with the concept of time.  We desperately need some tutoring.  Where is Stephen Hawking when you need him? Oh no, Stephen, just…….no.

Let’s move on, shall we?

The boys are just learning about days and weeks and months.  To them, last night is still any time in the past though.  It is very cute to hear them use it.  It is not cute that they think all time is to be compacted in this manner.  For example, later means never.  As in, “You can have some chips later; 7am is not a good time for that kind of snack.” This translates to, “You will never have chips ever, and I’m never buying anymore ever again.”  Then there is crying.

They have this great clock that tells them the time via color change.  I am about to throw it into the Baltic Sea.  Blue means sleep, and yellow means you CAN be awake, though you are welcome to sleep much longer.  Alex loves to come into my room and ask me when the clock will be yellow thus defeating the need for my involvement in wake-time-appropriateness.  Also, now that they know their numbers and are such smarties, when I tell them the clock will be yellow in 10 minutes, they say, “Okay, I’ll wait until it gets to the 10.”  Then I have to go into the whole spiel about how that’s not really what that means.  Then I’m teaching them to tell time, and I don’t want to do any teaching before breakfast.

Well, it's yellow now, so please, let's run around until someone falls.

We have never been on time to school.  I have no idea how long it takes to get us dressed and ready it seems.  Or, more likely, time likes to mess with me and skip ahead when I’m not looking.

Another problem is the concept of ‘in a minute’.  I take full responsibility for this being wacky.  See, I tell them ‘in a minute’ about 132 times a day.  I generally mean, “Leave me alone.  I’ll deal with your petty problems when there’s blood involved.”  Or, “Play Matchbox cars with you? Um, why don’t you start playing without me in hopes that you’ll forget you asked me?” And often, “I’ll help you/clean you up/find your blue Lego piece/play car wash with you in a minute.”  I intend to be good to my word.  Then, my ADD happens.  Or something explodes.  Or my presence is required in the bathroom.  (Only 1 person in this house can use the toilet without me.  Thankfully, that’s my husband, Michael.)

And finally, we wrestle with the concept of patience.  I’d like my boys to respect my time by having more.  I tell them that being patient means waiting without complaining or crying or asking me 1089 times when I will be in your room to see the coolest wooden block structure ever.  You’d think that since they have always had a sibling, they’d know about waiting.  That would be a no.  A huge no.  Their wee little brains just get an idea and keep at it.  I have no idea where they get this single-minded excitement.  Ahem…

On the other hand, I expect them to do what I ask or tell them to do RIGHT NOW.  No, you may not finish taping together pieces of shredded paper before you go potty.  I’m ready now!  And dear Lord, please hurry up brushing your teeth so I can put you to bed and watch Survivor.  So, um, yeah, a bit of hypocrisy.  My time is sometimes more important than theirs.  Right?

I mean, if we don’t hurry, how will we make it to school on time?  Seriously, we’re gonna do it tomorrow.


6 thoughts on “Time Troubles

  1. Oh I love how you explained EXACTLY how I, and probably 97% of parents feel, especially about in a minute. You got this perfect. And maybe I’d you just feed them breakfast and put them in their school clothes before bed, then you would have a head start. Maybe.

  2. Yes, I use the same excuse. I love the concept of that clock. Not sure if it would work with my oldest though. I still don’t have a good feel for how long it takes us to get ready either. I struggle every day with us getting out the door “in a timely manner”. Both my girls probably want to gag after this lecture. Huge hugs.

  3. I totally get this.
    I really need to get that clock.
    My son always says “no mama for todays”…so “todays” means like NOW…and not 15 minutes later…gah….it really does pick at your last nerve eh
    Ps. Survivor…whoot whoot!! My fav.

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