Welcome to my Weblog!
Welcome to 1 Mother 2 Another! To read my most recent weblog entries, scroll down. To read entries from one category, click the links at right. To read my journey from the beginning, click here. To find out more about me, click here.
Top 5s
Short on time? Click here to go to my Top 5s Page - links to my top five recommendations in every category from Breastfeeding Sites to Urban Living Solutions.

Everything's Relative

As Maddie becomes more and more sophisticated with her language skills, she attempts bigger and more difficult concepts. Right now she’s enjoying a very minimal grasp of time – past, present, and future.

Whenever we go to the park, we give Maddie plenty of warning that we’re going to leave. As a one-year-old, Maddie would burst into tears at any “sudden” change to what was going on, so we took a tip from a girlfriend and started saying bye-bye to everything in the park before leaving. To prepare her for that, we’d announce we were getting to bye-bye time, and we’d count down from ten – ten more pushes in the swing, and so forth.

Now that Maddie’s older, we still use the countdown sometimes – say, when she has to share a toy with someone – but we’ve also taken to giving her time warnings. “We’re leaving the park in ten minutes.” “Five more minutes.” “Two more minutes.” “One more minute. Last minute before we leave.” No, she doesn’t have a watch, but she does recognize a certain pattern to what she hears and has learned to freak out – I mean, react – accordingly. Ten-minute warning elicits a placid nod, the fiver gets a tentative “Ok,” two minutes is followed by denial – if I ignore this it will go away – and one minute becomes either the begging point or the time at which she makes a break for it.

Being the smart girl that she is, she’s obviously learned there are stages to this time thing and tries to bargain with it. “Maddie, it’s time to leave,” is often followed by a plea for, “Two more minutes!” When we tell her it’s time to read books and take a nap, she’ll hold up both pointer fingers and say, “Two more minutes! No—“ she’ll interrupt herself – “ONE more minute.”

So she hasn’t quite figured out which is worth more, but you have to give her credit for trying.

I also love her grasp of such nebulous times as Later or Tomorrow, and her understanding of qualifiers like Maybe or Might. When we talk about playing with play-doh Later, she understands that is sometime in the future, and past Soon. “Maddie, it’s almost night-night time.” “Later,” she’ll reply. “Yes, later, but soon.” “Later – tomorrow!” she’ll counter with. I’m dying to see inside her head and get a picture of what Later means to her; in my mind she must see some hurdle, like a nap or mealtime, to overcome to reach her precious Later when she can color or have banana bread.

My favorite, though, is hearing those Maybes and Mights come out of her mouth. “Going to park to see Omi!” she’ll say happily at breakfast. “Yes, we’ll meet Naomi in the park Soon,” I’ll agree. Maddie will hold up her left hand in the L sign, her signal for an important upcoming announcement. “MAYBE Omi bring toy strollers,” she’ll dream. “We’ll see,” I’ll caution. “Maybe,” she’ll nod solemnly.

Of course, having a child with a somewhat sophisticated grasp of fluid time can backfire on you as well. “Maddie, it’s time for lunch. Come sit down,” I’ll say.

Maddie will contemplate whatever project she’s currently engrossed in. “Maybe,” she’ll reply. “Maybe soon.”


Post a Comment

House Rules

Here are the rules for posting comments on 1mother2another.com. Posting a comment that violates these rules will result in the comment’s deletion, and you’ll probably be banned from commenting in the future.

1) Register first. If you would like to post a comment, you must create an account with us. Check out the home page to do so.

2) Constructive comments only. If you cannot maintain a respectful tone in your posting, even in disagreement, your comment will be deleted. We’re all trying to find our way in this thing and are struggling to be the best moms we can. If you disagree with something I say, feel free to politely email me. If you disagree with another reader’s posting, you’re welcome to kindly post in reply. Vitriolic diatribes will be deleted. This site is about encouraging and supporting, not tearing down and chastising.

3) Questions welcomed. If an entry raises a question, you’re welcome to email me directly or post it. Keep in mind that postings will result in public replies by strangers and not just me.

4) Don’t steal. All original writings contained within this website are under copyright protection. If you link to us, please credit us as your source and provide a link back to our website. If you're interested in using an excerpt in published material, please contact us.

5) Share your photos! We'd love to have photos from our registered readers to show on our home page under "Maddie's friends". Email us a jpeg of your little one's best photo to photos@1mother2another.com. Please, no photos from professional photographers which fall under copyright protection.