A Couple of Whiles

Owen is grappling, fiercely, with time.

– Will I be four tomorrow?

– No, you won’t be four until June. You’d better enjoy being three.

– Will I be four at Christmas?

– No.

– When is Christmas?

– In December. It’s next month. Right now it’s November.



3:00 am

– (whispers) Is it Christmas today?

– No. Go back to sleep. (He does)


Morning, discovering Owen in our bed:

– How long have you been here?

– Oh, just a couple of whiles.


– Mummy, when I grow up I want to be an Instruction Worker and fix bridges. All the bridges what are broken I will fix fix fix and people will be so happy when their bridges aren’t broken. Isn’t that a good idea, Mummy?

-When will you be grown up, Owen?

– In one hundred weeks.

– That’s a lot. You’ll be five in one hundred weeks. Can you count to a hundred?

– Oh, no, Mummy.


Are all children in such a  hurry to grow up? Owen gets furious if we call him a baby (I don’t, but Duncan loves to provoke him, and after baths picks him up like a kicking, yelling, 50-pound “baby”). He even gets mad if anyone says he’s cute. “I’m not cute. I’m not a baby. I’m big.” And he is big, no question.

Still, I wish he’d slow down a little on his road to maturity – at least for a couple of whiles.

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