Tommy's latest obsession is the microwave timer. He's just tall enough to reach the buttons, and knows how to use it. It all started out innocently enough. We were trying to reinvigorate his evening clean up efforts, so I introduced him to Super Clean.
Super Clean was something my brother and I did when we were little. We'd set the timer for a really short time like 1-3 minutes and then see how much we can clean in that time.
Tommy loved it. He'd rush around blazingly fast, throwing toys into the boxes and running things back into the right rooms. He was Super Tommy doing Super Clean! This is fun!
Then it all started to go pear shaped.
He decided he was going to be the timer instead of the cleaner. He'd set the timer and want to observe us cleaning furiously fast. "Hurry! You have to finish the living room before it beeps. Only 10 seconds left. You can do it!" It kind of defeats the purpose of Super Clean if we do all the cleaning and spend half the time trying to get him to participate.
Next, he became obsessed with timing other things.
"I set the microwave timer. You need to be finished with Charlie before it beeps. Then it will be my turn."
"My friend will be here in three minutes. I set the timer."
"How many minutes is it until 5:30? OK. I'll set the timer for 7 minutes then. I'll wait here at the table and we will start eating when it beeps."
Finally, he decided to start taking me literally when I put him off with "in a minute." He knows how to time a minute! Ergo, he can now know when I should make good on my promise. If I say I'll help him with something in a minute, then he rushes off to set the timer. I've tried to explain to him that "in a minute" is an expression that actually means "when I've finished what I'm doing." He's not buying it. I've had to completely change what I say to avoid being timed.
So yesterday we were talking about bats. He was trying to remember the word nocturnal, but said hibernate instead. I gently corrected him. He got mad. How dare I say he was wrong! "Mom. hibernate is just an EXPRESSION. I meant nocturnal but I said hibernate. I'm not wrong. You just didn't understand."
He is so very much my child.