Thursday, April 10, 2008

Time Travel?

In recent days mornings have turned from a frenzied flurry of activity, mostly involving me watching the clock and nagging my son, to a calm picture of serenity. I now get to drink a coffee, whilst sitting outside and watching the early morning sun, whilst Oz lounges on a chair with a book. No rows, no bickering. Magic.

The reason for this? Oz's strange take on the way time works.

Monday morning was the first day back to school after the Easter holidays. He resolutely refused to get up - pretending to be asleep with the duvet pulled firmly over his head. My response (after the usual hectic rush to get him out of the door to school) was to insist that he went to bed earlier.

His response was to suggest that if he got himself up earlier (claiming that he was usually awake but just didn't want to get up), could he still have a later bedtime.

"Fine" I said, with the perfect cynicism of a mother.

Next day he came bounding in to my bedroom, fully dressed at 6.45.

"Perhaps that's a bit too early." I said, with the perfect cynicism of a mother who thought it was a one off.

Since then, I've got up at 7.30, to find Oz fully dressed, breakfast eaten, reading a book. Not only that, he's reading (for the first time) a book that I really want to read when he's finished. [The Louis Sachar sequel to 'Holes".] This alone marks a turning point in our relationship, no longer me trying to recommend books that he 'might like', more a case of negotiating who gets to read something he's seen first.

But it got me thinking about the whole concept of time and timetables.

Do we only resist schedules and ticking clocks when they are on someone elses terms?

It must be more than the promise of not being sent to bed half an hour earlier that has changed the morning dynamic in this house. More to do with waking up and getting up independently, rather than being woken up by someone else. Of course the beautiful irony is that Oz is presumably 'losing' half an hours sleep by getting up earlier. But, if this were translated to staying up later, I know we would be back to being to full scale grouches with each other over the Cornflakes.

This strange perception of time was compounded as Mr-C left for work this morning with a celabratory "Hurrah, it's Thursday!" (Rough translation = only one more day tilll it's Friday.)

It suddenly dawned on me that now I'm self employed, Thursday means not wishing it were Friday, but rather a reality check that there are still loads of things I've got to tie up and finish before it is Friday. It's a much nicer feeling.

When I was teaching, I too spent each week wishing my life away - wishing it were Friday, wishing it were the holiday... I know I'm much happier (despite the absence of a stable salary or the 'TFI Friday' elation) working for myself. I know Oz is a lot happier fitting mornings into his own dreamy order, without me nagging in the background.

So, perhaps time travel is a legitimate possibility after all. It would seem it is possible without having a Tardis or similar contraption. Perhaps time travel comes from simply renegotiating our relationships with the clock. Time really does seem to bend in our favour when there are no external impositions.

As I write this, I realise that the deadline for an article and the Hollyoaks script competition really is tomorrow, and I really should be getting on with it... But, somehow knowing I can have a coffee break whenever I want, or work 'till 3 am if I choose, it really doesn't seem so bad.

[Having said that, if the Tardis does appear in the garden, I'll be gone...]


Occasional Poster of Comments said...

Trust a kid to unpick the fabric of time. Mind you, if there was a loose thread to be pulled, it was either going to be him or one of the cats.

Jen said...

Working from home ROCKS

I've just spent my lunch break (after eating lunch) tending to my courgette seedlings and then lying on the sofa with a cuppa and last saturdays Review. BLISS.

The thing I really don't miss is that leaden feeling that you get on a Sunday evening. I just don't have it anymore.

But must stop blogging at get back to work.