The Boy and I had a minor disagreement a few months ago about time, or more accurately, about timekeeping. He’s been seeing his sister wearing a watch, and was thinking that he would also like one now. Of course, I’m all for both kids wearing watches, because I don’t want to believe that certain things like watches, calculators, and boom boxes, will become obsolete. So where the Boy and I differed is that he wanted to start off with a digital watch.
“No way,” I had told him. “Once you start off with an analog watch and master telling time that way, then you can go digital. But it’s very hard for kids to learn time on a digital watch and go the other way.” (I have seen too many kids today who stare blankly at the two hands on a watch, and can only tell time on a digital clock, especially by whipping out their cell phone.) We argued back and forth for a few days, me reasoning with the parental stand-by, “Because it’s good for you” and him countering with the universal child’s enquiry, “But whyyyyy?” Our final compromise was: “Go analog for one year, and then after that, if you really can’t master it or don’t like it, you can go digital.”
So after searching for a few days on eBay, I found a Timex Indiglo (just like sis’, but with cool airplanes and not butterflies) that pleased him enough that I knew he’d want to wear it. The watch arrived a week later, and was eagerly strapped on within a few minutes of the package being opened. And just as I had thought and hoped, because he is very good in dealing with numbers, the Boy is a quick study in telling time. We had started a few days preceding the watch’s arrival, and by the end of the first day of watch ownership, he was eagerly looking at his watch and letting me know regularly, “It’s three o’clock now. It’s five o’clock. It’s seven-oh-five. It’s seven twenty-five now. It’s nine thirty-seven. You said I could have dessert at nine o’clock! That was a long time ago!”
My two little timekeepers now sleep with their Indiglos on their wrist (big sis has taught him that the watch serves as a great nightlight too). Both look forward to their next pretty/cool/fashionable (and analog) watch.