Story and I are alike in a lot of ways, but we are at opposite extremes when it comes to time. I have several clocks in the house, and they are all a couple of minutes fast. This ensures that I am always on time, if not early. Story looks at the clocks as decorations only. While I am hyperaware of the time, Story doesn’t acknowledge its existence.
To leave the house on time, I have to start Story on the leaving process ten minutes prior to the actual time to leave. Activities in this process? Putting on her coat and backpack. If we have to actually get in the car to leave, then we add another five minutes. You see, Story doesn’t believe that it is possible to talk and move at the same time. If you’ve read our blog, you know that Story is an appropriate name for this child. If I ask her to hurry, she merely pants like she’s been running hard and moves at the same motionless pace.If you ask my daughter to hurry, she merely pants like she's been running hard. #momlife… Click To Tweet
I try very hard to accept this untoward characteristic of my daughter. After all, she gets it honestly. My dear mother has a skewed concept of time, as well. In fact, it’s probably due to her disregard for time that I am so anxious about it. Psychology aside, I know that her concept of time is not something I can change about Story, so I need to accept it.
But it is so hard!
In my quest to achieve acceptance — and as a happy byproduct, a little less anxiety — I have conducted a few experiments to better understand her unorganized and Twilight Zone world in which time doesn’t exist. For instance, tonight, I purposely kept my thoughts away from the to-do list to prepare for the week ahead and had dinner with my daughter during which we shared stories and pretended to be animals. We ate only in between stories or when the animals were eating in the story. Dinner lasted an hour, my food got cold, and I am now forty minutes behind schedule.
I’ve tried going to sleep when I was tired instead of by the clock with two slightly different results. I went to bed immediately and overslept the next morning. And I went to bed much later than I ever would and overslept the next morning. Neither result was acceptable.
I don’t think I need to go on. You get the point. Living without time is a disaster. Though I have to admit that telling stories without a timer and sleeping late in the morning were pretty terrific, I’m not wired to live that way. Perhaps I can now better understand my daughter, and I might be a bit jealous of her carefree attitude toward time, but I’m quite comfortable with my relationship with the clock, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. But maybe we can meet in that in-between space every once in a while.