My daughter is obsessed with time. She is forever asking “What time is it?” Then, hardly a minute later, “What time is it now?” We even bought her a watch, to help with her curiosity about time…but since she’s still working on her numbers, and working on telling time on her digital princess watch, it’s much easier for her to just ask mom.
Today, though, I started to ask myself if her obsession with time is merely a reflection of mine?
I, mom, am constantly setting the (theoretical) timer. “In five minutes, it will be your brother’s turn.” “In ten minutes, it will be time for bed.” “Five more minutes of TV and that’s it!” Or at the park, there is the countdown until it is time to leave.
The “countdown” technique is awesome because it slowly prepares them for something unpleasant that is fast approaching. Then there’s time to share, time for bed, and time to go home. Time to “share” seems to cause the most battles. Even time to go home usually plays out better. But sharing?
But then time comes back into play when it is time for an appointment: “Come on guys, we only have ten minutes until we have to be at the doctor’s office!” I usually find myself saying this when it’s at least at 15-20 minute drive to whichever doctor we’re going to today.
These are the hours and minutes in our day. And now that kindergarten is almost here, my five-year-old sponge understands that we also have days, and weeks, and months. Even years.
All of this time, time, time. But with so much to do, I swear most days it feels like I get nothing done.
Today, I wished that there was a way to slow down time. Not because I had so much to do (I did, but that’s nothing new), but because I realized that time was running out.
When I was pregnant, I was warned, time and time again, by many “seasoned” mothers, that time goes by SO fast. But I didn’t understand until today.
As I was watching my two kiddos paint together, it suddenly hit me that this season of their life (and ours) is so very short. Soon these little people will be big people. How crazy is that going to be? I will still be their Mom, yeah sure. But I won’t have magical healing kisses or be able to blow their minds with my ability to make a bubble out of chewing gum.
So for now, I set the timer to count the minutes, and spend my days living in the wonderful chaos, frustration, and beauty that is this gift of motherhood.
I guess it’s like the Shel Silverstein poem, How Many, How Much.
How much time you have in a day? Depends on how you spend it.
This book is amazing! My kids read it over and over and over again. And I don’t mind one bit. The concept is pretty simple: all of those crazy things that happen around your house, be it a mess in the kitchen or art on the walls . . . the dinosaurs did it!
The pictures in this book are definitely the best part. Creators Refe and Susan Tuma have ingeniously used toy dinosaurs with real-life props to create photographs that are hilarious. There are tiny things to discover on every page that will have your kids giggling and pointing and taking the story far beyond the words on each page.
PS– as I was writing this, my son saw the cover picture, and immediately said that it was time to go to the library so we can check this book out again. A must-read, I think.