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Thursday, February 19, 2015

I am not Father Time

"Hurry up! We've only got 10 minutes!"


This scenario plays out in my house at least three and probably closer to 17 times a day.

While I appreciate the unadulterated power the girls have bestowed upon me, the assumption that the sun rises and sets at my command, I simply do not have control over how fast the Earth spins on its axis--believe me, kids, I wish I did.

Yet, somehow, no matter how many calm sit-downs we have about this where I explain that time moves independently from my personal will and obvious crusade to ruin their lives, they cannot separate the unyielding hands of the clock from my person.

So, on top of having to do the dishes five times a day and make the food and generally take care of these two little things I helped create, hoping to God that in spite of me they end up being good people, I also get to be responsible for the fact that time isn't stretchable.


And to foil my nefarious undertakings, in my house the phrase 'hurry up' now means 'go at an exaggeratedly slow pace while glaring belligerently at mommy because she can go eff herself with her making time go extra fast bullshit.'

Which is frustrating as hell.

Over the past few months, I have made a concentrated effort not to yell at them when this happens. I admit, when this first became an issue, I lost it a few times because how could my intelligent, literate, amazingly quick six year olds not understand the simple concept of minutes always being the same length regardless of our intent?

But apparently they cannot grasp it.

I am sorry to say that the only improvement my not losing my shit at them when they slow down after I tell them to hurry up is that we're not all screaming at each other in a Tasmanian devil paradise as we bust through the front door to get where we're going.

So, while it has slightly improved morale, it has had no effect on our arrival time.

And, yes, I have talked to them multiple times about how "hurry up" is not a moral judgment on their character, and has actually nothing to do with them. That we are all on the same team. That it's me helping them. We've tried other ways to say hurry up. The countdown only makes it worse. Looking at the clock pisses them off. Let's go, let's go, let's go, let's go, sung in the way of Little John used to work 18 months ago, but the novelty wore off and now it just gets an eye roll or perhaps a nostalgic giggle.

I need to figure out why this is so hard. It's one of those super-simple-for-grown-ups concepts that we all just take for granted. Time moves. It moves at the same pace day in and day out and is completely out of our control. It's so natural a concept that we never think about it.

Until a six year old is stomping around in slow motion just to show you what you can do with your stupid time model.

Then all bets are off, and it looks like you'll be getting a late pass.

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