They never told me...

Posted March 22, 2005 @ 4:35am | by S. Cutshall

My latest form of insanity has been the seemingly endless and impossible pursuit of having our 5 year old daughter Chloe understand Time.

She's very curious and very much wants to understand ALL things related to time, schedules, duration, etc.  Amy keeps telling me that eventually our efforts will pay off and everything we've been teaching her, explaining to her will gel and she'll understand.

Me, well I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown about it.

The concept of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow are like trying to scale a vertical wall made of smooth granite while naked & covered in olive oil.  Beyond that Chloe wants to know about the number of days until things.  For instance, like how many days until Easter or Christmas or her birthday.

Add to that when we say something like 2 days until such & such a thing happens and she'll say "today?" and we'll say no, today is one day or day 1 and then tomorrow is another day or the 2nd day or day 2 and the day of "insert event in question".  She shakes her head knowingly and then an hour later get extremely pissed at us when she casually mentions how great "such & such" thing will be today.  She's getting confused with the number 2 and the sound of it in words like TOday and TOmorrow.


Latest bit of insanity is this...

Chloe's been wanting some glow sticks... yeah you know, those beautiful, well made gems that you snap, they light up, they burn out and then sit in a land fill for the next 356,000 years... yeah those.

So in a moment of wanting to be a King to her I sit her next to me at the computer and we go to the Oriental Trading Company website (the leading supplier of all things Chinese & Cheap in America) and we go through every glow stick they import.  We make our selections and in the end Chloe is extremely happy to know she'll be getting 3 dozen different kinds of glow sticks.  Enough that the average NYC rave goer would be fluorescent green with envy.

That was Saturday and according to the website they should arrive here this Wednesday, tomorrow.  And you know what?  I just KNEW that this was going to create a shitstorm...

Chloe looks at me on Saturday and asks when they will be here and I say hopefully Wednesday.  She asks her obligatory follow up question, "How many days is that?".  I say that today is Saturday, tomorrow is Sunday, the day after Sunday is Monday... blah, blah and she nods approvingly.

But I know this isn't the end of this at all.  No way.

Sunday she asks, I answer... all seems fine.

Monday she asks and I answer and things seem to start getting tricky based on her responses.  I tell her today is Monday and hopefully if the Mailman finds them in his pack he will have them here on Wednesday... Wednesday is 2 days after Monday.  Monday and then Tuesday and then Wednesday.

Finally the shit hits the fan last night.  I go to bed at 3am and she gets me up at 3:30 to ask when they will be here.  I, bordering on the edge of exploding, tell her one more day, go back to sleep.  She says, "Ok, that's great... they will be here later today".  Much closer to a meltdown I say, "No Chloe... one more day means we go through today, Tuesday and then tomorrow,Wednesday they will be here".

She starts sobbing and says that she doesn't like me as her daddy and wants a new one, a better one.

I go Defcon.

I sit upright and say "today is today, tomorrow is tomorrow... today is Tuesday and tomorrow is Wednesday and that's that... PERIOD!!"  I start yelling now, "You want a new daddy... fine, this one is sending the glow sticks BACK.  Yep, I'll tell the mailman he can return them because the little girl who lives here doesn't deserve them and says hurtful & mean things to people".  And then I say, "Chloe I'm sorry but I am so tired of having this same talk about days and how many days to this and how many days to that... I'm done with it, NOW GO BACK TO BED!!".

She's crying, Amy sits up and looks totally baffled as to what the hell is going on (she just got back from working 12 hours) and I've had enough and feeling like I'm going to just fucking catch on fire from the inside out and spontaneously combust.

Finally I sleep.

This morning I crawl out of bed and Chloe sits up and says she's sorry for making me yell and be angry at her... that she loves me and only wants me for her daddy.   She throws herself at me in a big embrace and while I'm hugging her and whispering in her ear how much I love her and that I'm sorry too for getting upset, raising my voice & yelling... she says in my ear,

"I think we need to tell the Mailman he needs to leave my glow sticks and not send them back later today, ok?"

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