Monday, March 21, 2016

Parenthood: Week 144 - Time

More often than not I’m trying to get Ollie to transition out of an activity before he’s done. On the way to bed, he wants us to read him one more book. When I pick him up from school, Ollie lays down in protest wanting to play for a little bit longer. There’s never enough time during bath to play (even though, I had to negotiate heavily to get him to take his bath) and of course, his time on the iPad most of the time ends in protest.

The only time that I remember in recent memory that Ollie could really direct how much time he wanted to spend on a certain activity was when we were in the house all day starting on his potty training. That day, potty training interrupted Ollie, but he was able to jump right back into his activities.

I feel bad that I often have to move Ollie along, especially when he’s doing really creative and interesting work.  However, if I don’t interrupt him, and get him to eat dinner by a certain, he will get really "hangry."  If we let Ollie read too many books before he goes to bed, he will be up too late, not be able to go to bed and be cranky the next morning. And while it's great indication that Ollie enjoys school, he can't stay there forever.

There is a great deal of negotiation in order to get Ollie to help us out with transitions. Sometimes it's reminding him that he could do that activity the next day, other times we give him something to look forward to like seeing Diana at home and in the most desperate times, we simply bribe him. Ollie responds best to enthusiasm, which I sometimes forget in my frustration as he goes boneless and I'm literally dragging him by his foot across the floor.

Diana and I are don't want Ollie life to be over-scheduled. The modern nightmare of children as young as toddlers only spending time with parents bussing kids from activity to activity. At the same time if you aren't deliberate about scheduling activities and planning ahead for experiences, days can zoom by unfulfilled and opportunities can be missed.

One of the things that I admire about Ollie is his relationship with time. So often in the day, I'm conscious of time and how long things are taking.  I Often curse time for moving too quickly.  I am rarely not conscious about the current time and how much time is left before the next event or task.

Ollie doesn't fight time. He lives along with time and allows time move him through his life faster and slower as he experiences life.  His past is a wonderful mixture of impressions and feelings and the future while uncertain is full of wonders and adventures. Ollie’s experiences time with freedom focusing not on time passing but on life lived in the moment.

I'm going to try to create more moments when Ollie can help us all get lost in time.  Sometimes when you are rushing through things to get to the next event, you end up missing the point of the time we are blessed to share together with people we love.

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