Thursday, January 11, 2007

That tricky concept of time

I've been fascinated in recent weeks with the way Lyddie's mind is developing. I always am, but she's been especially interesting lately in getting to grips with her understanding of how time works.

I don't mean time on a clock, although she's making progress there too, but in the past-present-future sense.

A few weeks ago she was saying things like "When I was your age, Mummy, I used to drive the car and you used to sit in the back," and I didn't argue with her because - well, who's to say she's wrong? I'm still not 100% convinced that time always flows in the way we conventionally assume it does. She might have been having some kind of future-memory of me being very old and her being grown up. She might have been being imaginative and just confusing it with memory. I really don't know.

But something - I'm trying to think what - got her thinking about the ageing process. Oh, she asked me what I would look like when I was an old lady, I think. Something like that.

"Much like I do now I think, but more wrinkly and with white hair," I said, - and she burst into tears!

"I don't want you to have white hair! I'll miss your black hair!"

"Well it will happen very slowly - you'll hardly notice. And I have some white hairs already: look! They're ok, aren't they?"

"Yes but I don't want you to get any more. And will your hair stay long or be short and curly?"

Ahhh of course, old ladies mostly have short curly hair, don't they? Dear me.

"No, it will stay long. Just like it is now. Maybe even longer."

She was happy about that, but has asked similar questions since, just to check. The thing is, she's suddenly realised things and people do change with time, but she worried that it might be a sudden change and that everything might suddenly become different and unrecognisable. Quite a reasonable concern, for a four year old IMO.

The fact that she's wondering how the progress of time works is a big shift for her. This is the best thing about home ed, I think. Being there and having those conversations and watching the mental developments happen never stops fascinating me. The human mind is the most amazing, wonderful thing - far too precious to be locked in a classroom and subjected to a national curriculum.

11 Comments:

Blogger Hazel said...

Wow. Have just been reading over some of your older posts. what a fabulously interesting blog. I love the one about mortgages. Will come back to read some more.

10:20 am, January 11, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Hi Hazel, you'll be a welcome visitor I'm sure :-)

11:03 am, January 11, 2007  
Blogger Amanda said...

I really enjoyed that post :0) I love those conversations.

11:13 am, January 11, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Glad you enjoyed it Amanda. I love them too!

11:51 am, January 11, 2007  
Blogger Qalballah said...

I remember the first time I really thought about death when I was about six, and then it hit me - my Mum and Dad were going to get grey hair. Then DIE!! Oh I did dry myself to sleep that night. But then I turned into a teenager and used to wish for it :D

6:11 pm, January 11, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

"But then I turned into a teenager and used to wish for it :D "

ROFL! I know that feeling ^^

8:09 pm, January 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is fantastic!!

I love your "Who's to say she's wrong?" That's exactly how I feel when dd1 says such things! :)

What a wonderful view! I'm very impressed! And pleasantly surprised too, as I came to your blog from my husband's comments box, and...well... I don't know what I expected to find, but it wasn't this!

You and your family sound like truly wonderful people. :)

Adele

1:38 pm, January 12, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Thanks Adele, you're very kind :-)

2:42 pm, January 12, 2007  
Anonymous Lucy b said...

Hello Gill, Just been catching up on your Blog.

Today A said: "Mummy, when you are old and tired and DEAD (jabs finger at me in a very final way) I will be able to look after the house and cook for Daddy."

eeeeeek ... is that how she sees me?

Last week she wanted to be an astronaut ... what happened?

8:09 pm, January 13, 2007  
Blogger Heidi said...

At about that age was when my daughter started telling long draw-out tales of back when she was the mommy and I was her kid.

Some of the tales were her retelling stories she had heard about what I was doing as a child, and she inserted herself into the stories, much like "Zelig" or "Forrest Gump."

Also around this age, my DH and I went to a wedding without the kids. Our daughter saw a photo of us at the reception. "Where am I?" she asked.

"You weren't there. You were with your grandma that afternoon. You played Go Fish that day. Remember that?"

"No. I was with you," she insisted. "See. There is the kitchen door. I was behind that door during the picture."

9:30 pm, January 14, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

How they see things never fails to amaze me. It's absolutely fascinating. I can't think why anyone could ever find children boring!

8:49 pm, January 15, 2007  

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