The Toddler has become obsessed with time. She already had a long-standing clock obsession, but that was entirely unrelated to any interest in the time. No, The Toddler simply liked to point at clocks and watches, shout ‘tick tock’, and demand the singing of ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’.
The Toddler mastered the concept of specific, named times some, well, time ago. She knows ‘brekkie time’. This is the time when The Toddler eats her breakfast. She knows ‘din din time’. This is the time when The Toddler eats her dinner. She knows ‘lunchtime’. This is the entire period between ‘brekkie’ and ‘din din’, during which The Toddler will say in a hopeful voice every ten minutes, ‘Lunchtime, Mummy! The Toddler is wanting lunchtime. Lunchtime now, please, Mummy.’ In essence, until now, The Toddler has been aware of time as a food-related concept.
(Incidentally, whilst on the topic of lunchtime, Silly Mummy’s greatest achievement as a mother? Convincing The Toddler that ‘lunchtime tidy up’ is not only an actual thing, but an actual fun thing. Silly Mummy announces it is lunchtime tidy up time, and The Toddler excitedly runs around the room picking up toys. Take that, Super Nanny. Silly Mummy expects to receive the Nobel Prize in Toddlers any day now…)
The Toddler also knows some time-related words. There is ‘soon’. The Toddler understands that ‘soon’ means lunchtime will be in exactly one second, and should therefore be immediately mentioned again to Silly Mummy. There is ‘later’, which means lunchtime will be in three seconds and, to be safe, should probably be immediately mentioned again to Silly Mummy. ‘Tomorrow’ is a word The Toddler knows denotes, ‘Ooh, brekkie!’ Then, of course, there is ‘now’. Now is often used when The Toddler is being asked to do something. She is aware it means do it so slowly it is not done until tomorrow: ‘Ooh, brekkie!’
These have been The Toddler’s dabblings in the concept of time. Until now. The new obsession. What time it actually is. So The Toddler now likes to ask about random times. Constantly.
‘What’s times it?’
‘Oh, okay, fine…What’s times it now?’
‘Oh, okay, fine.’ The Toddler wanders away. She reappears.
‘Mummy, what’s time now?’ Silly Mummy has been telling The Toddler the actual time, though fully aware that the answer ‘hippo blue sausage’ would also be met with a nod and an ‘okay, fine’.
Despite not having any clue what the numbers mean, The Toddler has evidently picked up on the fact that Silly Mummy’s answers to what time it is do frequently involve the use of numbers. It is lunchtime. The Toddler has been asking for lunchtime all morning. Therefore, Silly Mummy expects a yell of ‘lunchtime’ when she asks The Toddler, ‘Do you know what time it is?’
Instead, The Toddler pauses, ‘Er…yes. Time 1,2,3…7?’