Archive for July, 2010

The Shortest Hour


Mr. Doobins has his mother’s gift for inventing words.

The other day, he was eating a chocolate cake doughnut. We asked him how he could eat it without having to have a drink of milk.

“My suspenity, of course,” he said.

We have moved into a phase when the timer plays an integral role in his life. When he wants to play on the computer, we may turn the timer to 30 minutes, hand it to him and tell him that, when it dings, he’s done.

When it’s time for timeout, we turn it to the designated time and hand it to him. Nothing more needs to be said. He knows that, when it dings, he can come out of his room.

The other day — a different day than Suspenity Day — Sparkle Girl, Garnet and I all managed to irritate him at the same time. Done with us, he went and got the timer and turned it all the way around to the maximum it will measure — one hour.

“I’m going in my room, and I’m not coming out until it dings,” he said.

I was already planning to go to the store, and, after his dramatic exit, the shift in energy made it seem like a good time to go.

Indulging an opportunity to needle him, I said in a voice loud enough to ensure that he could hear me in his room, “I think I will go to the store and buy a scrumptious chocolate cake.”

Right there with me, Sparkle Girl, also speaking loud enough for him to hear, said, “That’s a great idea, Kim.”

It was a slow time at the store and we didn’t need much more than milk and half-and-half, so I was driving back up to the house in 15 or 20 minutes. With every intention of continuing my evil ways, I called Garnet to tell her that I was planning to wave the cake under his window.

No need, she said. The timer had dinged a couple of minutes earlier, and Mr. Doobins had emerged from his room wondering whether the cake had arrived yet.