Friday, September 16, 2011

Establishing timelines

KIC is getting old enough now, that I have been trying to not only tell her of events that are coming up, but give her timelines for those events so that she knows they aren't happening RIGHTTHISVERYSECOND! For the most part this works as I only tell her a couple of days in advance when things are happening. So I'll say "KIC, Minga and Grandpa are coming to visit on Friday. That's in two days!" Then as each day passes, we can do a sort of countdown for their arrival.

What's hard to establish, and I don't even really try, is stuff waaaaaaaaay into the future. She knows her birthday (January) is after my mom's birthday (August), but she doesn't really have the concept of months or years, really. That's fine, I don't expect her to, or even really try to teach her, but sometimes, when an event that's pretty far into the future comes up, it can have pretty funny results. To wit:

*Scene: Mommy and KIC have just passed the big yellow school bus*
KIC: Mommy, my friends ride the school bus.
Me: You have friends that ride the school bus?
KIC: Yes, they ride the school bus (didn't I just tell you that, woman???)
Me (thinking I'll be clever): After two birthdays, you'll get to ride the school bus too!
KIC: I will?!?!?!?!
Me: Yup, after two birthdays.
Me (somewhat feebly, realizing my misstep but not really seeing a way out): Yup, after two birthdays you get to ride on the school bus.
KIC: Two birthdays only for me, right? Not my friends.
Me (laughing): Heehee.
KIC starts laughing maniacally
Me (laughing along with her): You're so silly.
KIC (stops laughing): I'm not silly, you're silly.
Me (thinking we're playing our standard game): I'm not silly, YOU'RE silly.
KIC: No, you're silly. You're laughing, I'm not.
Me: You're not laughing??
KIC (dead serious): No.

Fortunately, by this time we had arrived at school and I was saved by the distraction of the school. I envisioned that getting very ugly, very quickly! My lesson learned: Yeah, don't worry about trying to explain the future to a 3 1/2 year old. It has potential to get you in serious trouble.

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