Wednesday, September 26, 2007

TIME CONCEPTS

As with most preschool age kids, Aleita has difficulty with time concepts. Like my nephew Truman, Aleita is having a hard time wrapping her head around the idea of the difference between a nap and going to bed at night. When she wakes up from her nap in the afternoon, she always assumes another day has started. She also can't seem to get the correct terminology nailed down for mealtimes. She will often come in as I am cooking supper and ask what we're having for lunch.

Of late, Aleita's difficulty with time concepts is evident in the difficulty she is having with the timeframe of when we will be moving into our new home. She always thinks that when we discuss moving, it is going to happen tomorrow. As she sees me packing boxes in preparation for the move, she assumes it is because we are pulling up stakes tomorrow. We have explained that it will be in a few weeks, and I even showed her the days on the calendar. I know that if I were one of those supermoms, I would have some cool activity called "X days until move" and we would dutifully march to the calendar each morning and X the day off with a bright red marker and count how many days left until the move. Sorry - with the maze of boxes growing every day in our home, I can barely find my way to the door, much less remember to do the X the calendar thing.

Anyway - today my mom came over and helped me do some packing. When Chris got home from work with the kids in tow, Aleita immediately wanted to start "helping." A 3-year old's help with packing isn't exactly that. Again, the supermom would've found some way for the young child to lend a hand with the packing, but this frazzled mom simply turned on the Backyardigans that my friend Tivo captures for me every day so that I can have a half an hour when we get home each day to quiet the chaos.

Today, Aleita wasn't having it. She looked around the living room and noticed that her books were missing from their baskets. When she asked where they were, I told her that I had packed them, but that I had left a few out for her. She went up to her room and found the ones I hadn't yet packed (so we would have at least a few to read in the next few weeks) and she brought them down to me. "Let me put them in the box," she said. I told her that we were leaving them out so we would have books to read. She started to get very upset, and through our dialogue, I realized that she thought I wasn't packing them because they were getting left behind. Mind you, I left out some of her favorite books and she wasn't about to just leave them there for some other family to enjoy. No, sir indeed - - especially since she can't get the idea out of her head that we are leaving tomorrow.

After she and I had talked about it at great length, I felt she was starting to understand that we were not leaving her books behind. She looked at me thoughtfully for a moment, then said, "I'm going to get my Little People so you can pack them. I'm not leaving them here too!" So much for reasoning with a three-year old.

2 comments:

Julianne said...

I have a similar (albeit less serious) problem. Everyday Truman sees the "Happy Halloween" banner on our mantel and every day he says, "Is Halloween today Mommy?"

"No. It's a few weeks away."

(dramatic hands to the air and falling on the knees to defeat), "It's never going to be Halloween!"

Mental note: don't put up any Christmas decorations until Christmas Eve.

papadale said...

Hey, how about an empty box in Aleita's room, she can store her favorites there, and pack and unpack them everyday?