If you’ve had small children in your life, you may have fudged the time occasionally to get them to do something sooner than they want. You may have said “It’s bedtime” or “nap time” a few minutes early, simply because you were ready for the break. You may have said they can have ten more minutes at the playground and started to round them up in five, because your own patience is exhausted. Before they can tell time very well, the strategy often works. Knowing exactly how much time has gone by is, after all, an uncertain thing.
Archie gets to have his tablet at bedtime to watch a show for fifteen minutes, after his shower and teeth brushing and reading time and some talk about his day. On Saturday night, fearing I’d forget he had it and ready to turn my thoughts to my own evening, I went up after what felt to me like it must be fifteen minutes. Instead, it was nine minutes and thirteen seconds. How do I know so precisely? I came quietly into the darkened room, saying it was time for me to bring his tablet downstairs.
“No, Grammie. Look.” He pointed me to the bottom of the tablet, where the screen clearly showed that nine minutes and thirteen seconds of the show had passed, not the fifteen to which he is entitled.
No fooling this kid. I went back downstairs, and gave him the rest of his time. 🙂