Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Concept of Time.

Our children often hear us say things like, 'One more minute', 'I'll be right back', 'Not now, later', 'After nap', 'Tomorrow' etc..

Soon enough we start hearing those words said back to us.  'One more minute Mommy.  Not now!'

Today my 22 month old son blew me away.  He often does, but this morning, when he woke up, he pointed straight at the digital alarm clock over his bed and shouted, 'Number 9!  Number 5!  Number 7!'  The clock actually read, 7:36.  One out of three isn't bad!

Truth be told, I wish it did read 9:57.

As adults, especially a mom, time passes to quickly.  It's easy for me to forget the time when Braden couldn't sit up, walk and talk.  It's easy for me to imagine him on his first day of school, the day he moves out for college or brings home his first love.  I try to stay present, in-the-moment.  Perhaps that's why, when I look back to the early days, it feels like they were forever ago.

But as children I remember Christmas feeling like it would never come, summers lasted forever and my birthday couldn't come any faster.

Now, Christmas starts in November, summers are a blink and my birthday... well, those seem to happen twice a year.

How do children understand the concept of time?  Did Braden shout those numbers because that's all they were to him, or was he trying to say more?  When he says to me, 'Mommy, I'll be right back', does he say it because he knows what coming right back means?  Did he learn the concept because when I tell him 'I'll be right back', I am and he knows it's not that long to wait?  Or is he simply role modeling something he hears with actions that go along with it.

Of course Braden, like all other things, will learn to tell time, and what today, tomorrow and yesterday mean.

But how do we learn these concepts?  Through experiences or lessons?


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