I just don't remember not understanding time. Of course I wasn't born understanding the concept of minutes and hours and days and weeks, but I can't remember a time when I couldn't grasp that 5 minutes is LESS than 20 minutes. I guess this is why it seems so funny to me that my 3 1/2 year old really has no concept of this entity we call time. Or perhaps it is more that my 3 1/2 year old rarely let's on when she doesn't understand something..little miss "I get it, Mom". I am expecting a full fledged "Duh" from her anyday now. Ugh.
I think it is absolutely hilarious when she says "I want to stay up for 5 more minutes, Mom." I say in return, "Ava you can stay up for 20 more minutes until it is bedtime." She gets that frustrated look on her face and says, "Show me how many that is on your fingers." I quickly flash ten fingers 2 times. She looks stunned but recovers quickly. "I said 5 more minutes Mom." (Ok, a patient parent would look at this opportunity to quietly explain the difference between more and less.) There is no quietly explaining anything to Ava when she is wearing the frustrated face. Nonetheless I sort of sharply tell her, "Ava if you select 20 more minutes it will be longer that you can stay downstairs." "Oh.", she sheepishly gets it. Then she asks me a little more nicely to show how many fingers 5 versus 20 is. So, in my infinite wisdom I think it is a good idea to review counting from 1-20 with Ava. She stops me short again. "No Mom, I can do it and I want to do it alone." And, I'll be darned if she doesn't do it. (Memorized of course, not really understanding more and less.) Ok, I admit she sort of garbled 14-16 but recovered at 17 nicely.
Now, the 20 original minutes has dwindled and she is asking me about the difference between playing a cd and listening to the radio. I am too tired for this! This was prompted by our earlier discussion when she was frustrated with me when I couldn't play the Pointer Sister's We Are Family on demand in the car, it was on the radio. For whatever reason she LOVES that song. I opt to save the radio waves conversation (which I really don't fully understand anyway) until the next day.
I put her to bed. I put myself to bed. Another day with Ava.
She got more than 20 minutes and I got a lesson in patience. I am sure that the conversation about being a strawberry cheerio for Halloweeen will be less taxing tomorrow at breakfast.