The Long Con

Time is a very difficult concept to explain to a toddler. Future President has been eyeing a small electric train that the spouse played with as a child. It sits in a box in a closet that Future President can easily open. We haven’t let him play with it yet because the pieces are small and easily swallowable. He does understand a little about time, though, as he’s recently incorporated “right now,” and “not yet” into his vocabulary. 

Today he again opened the closet and pointed to the box: “Play Daddy’s choo choo train.” It’s always the same plea. Instead of just saying later, or not now, I tried to frame the “not yet” in terms he could understand. 

“Not yet,” I told him. “Remember Santa and snowmen? You can play with it at Christmas.” 

“PopPop ho-ho lights!” he said. It’s all he really associates with Christmas, apparently. When my dad finally took down the Christmas lights.

“Yes. When there are ho-ho lights, you can play with the train,” I said. 

“Christmas! Ho-ho lights!” he responded. 

And now we wait. 


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