“See these? They’re called hands. They tell me what time it is by where they point.”
I didn’t really think he got it. There was Cameron’s standard, “Yeah?” remark that may mean anything from “I’m interested, tell me more,” to “Wow, did you see that bird flying over there?” So, I pressed further.
“When the big hand, this one here, points to this dot here, it’s time to go home.”
We were at the playground of the local elementary school, and it was a sunny Sunday evening on Mother’s day. Lots of dads with lots of kids, hopefully giving the moms an evening off. Off ran Cameron to play.
Now and then I reminded him, and showed him the time. “See, five more minutes. When the big hand points at this dot, it’s time to go.” And I got yeahs in varying tones as response.
He got a two minute warning, and a one minute warning. Then: “Cameron, it’s time to go.” Did he take my word for it? No! He grabbed my hand and twisted it so he could see the watch. “Hand, this dot here? Right here?” I repeated which dot meant time to go home. He RAN to the stroller and climbed in.
Fluke, I said.
This morning was a happy fun and easy one. Get this! We were at the community center playground, Cameron had a treasure, a shovel, borrowed from a family. I’d done the watch, hand, dot thing with him again. “Time to go, Cameron!” He took a good look, nodded, and headed for the stroller. “WAIT, Cameron, you have to give the shovel back,” I called. He literally skidded to a halt, said, ‘OH!” and trotted back to hand over the shovel. Happily. Back to the stroller. I resisted the urge to look for the real Cameron under a slide.
Naptime is often a struggle with us. He’ll delay, delay, sob, cry, and need to hear Little Bunny twenty three times. Today was different. While he ate his lunch, I showed him my watch. I showed him which dot, which hand. When it was ‘time’, I showed him the watch again, but didn’t say anything. “Hand! Dot right there! Right there!” I agreed, and Cameron quickly shoved two more bites into his mouth, wiped his cheek (missed the peanut butter on his nose entirely), and RAN for my bedroom. Now, this of course meant he was a little too ‘up’ to fall asleep right away, but he settled quickly. One Little Bunny story. The watch might just save me from that story. We had a delicious two and a half hour nap. Which I needed, since a certain kitty woke me up every time I moved breathed last night.
I am SO getting this kid a clock for his room. “See that hand? The red one? That’s right. It’s not time to get up until it points to THIS number.”
Think it’ll work?