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Monday, December 3, 2012

In Roman Times...

We had finished our breakfast.  Lily busied herself in the family room with "Chipmunk" books while Emma sat backwards (of course) in the chair and faced me.

"Mommy should wrap this clock," she said.

Leslie had wrapped a few of our smaller wall-mounted pieces of "art" the previous night and they looked very festive and Christmasy.  When she finished we had mock-criticized her that she hadn't wrapped the enormous print over the couch.  Apparently Emma felt our Christmasiness could still use a boost.

"Why would she wrap the clock," I replied?

"Well, it doesn't work anyway."

"It does too!  It just runs a little slow when the battery wears down.  Look at the time on it!"

The clock read 7:24.  For the next thirty seconds or so I listened as Emma (straight A's this past quarter) struggled to get the correct time, giggling to herself at her inability to read a 'real' clock.  She kept a running dialogue going as she attempted to work it out.

"six...twenty...., wait, it's five, ten, fifteen..."

"Em," I said, "It's past six, it's actually after seven..."

"Oh!" She laughed, continuing to work...

"REALLY??" I asked, raising my eyebrows, "How can you not tell what time it is?"  I feel like telling time on a traditional clock must be one of those things that is slowly phasing out like VCR's and CD's and GPS's and courtesy.  The only time it's ever really relevant is when a...DVD/Cable box/microwave/cordless phone/cell phone/laptop/computer/iTouch/coffee maker/whatever...isn't available.  In our family room/kitchen alone we have the time echoed on no fewer than seven appliances/devices...none of which are 'analog' time.

She looked at me in mock scorn and replied with a frustrated gesture at the clock face, "Well, I can't help it!  I can't read old people numbers!"

Old people numbers. Or, as old people like to call them:  "Roman Numerals"



22 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. She's saucy, and she can't tell time, but we'll keep her.

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  2. Fantastic! Had the same problem at my house, so I bought both my kids watches with "old people" numbers on them. Every time we go anywhere, I ask them for the time. seems to be working so far...of course, they could be cheating and looking at the time on another device.

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    1. the thing is...she COULD have looked at any of the other 7 devices in the room...but she's too honest. *cough cough* about some things.

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  3. Well technically they're dead people numbers.

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  4. Although I was taught it in school, I swear I didn't learn to read an analog clock until I was a teen.

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    1. They DO! Like second grade. Then ...they sorta just let it go. Like, "alright, you've learned clocksmanship...be fruitful and multiply" or something. Anyway, clearly she needs some review.

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  5. Cute! I have trouble with old/dead people numbers too!

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    1. I can do the first 12 pretty handily...it's when we hit the L's and D's that I struggle.

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  6. My kids are the same way-- they mock me for having an old-people (non-digital) watch. Say the word analog, and all you're going to get is furrowed brows.

    Sometimes I want the zombie apocalypse to come just so I can show those two exactly how cool I am. I know how to make a sundial and filter rainwater with cheesecloth and bleach. Then they'd appreciate me!

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    1. Now *I* want the zombie apocalypse! It sounds like everyone will be so appreciative then...

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  7. The upside-downyness does get confusing. The super bowl causes a mathematical mental breakdown for me!

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    1. The super bowl has actually HELPED me with my numbers. But I'm a Steeler fan, so XLIII is 43. and that helps me remember that L is fifty cause XL is 40...blah blah blah.

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  8. Darn old people numbers get me every time!!!

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  9. I love your kiddos.

    I'm with you - I'm ok with the little old-people numbers, but once they start getting to the Ds and the Ms and such I start getting eye-crossy.

    It makes me sad that kids are, eventually, not going to be able to read real watches. People mostly just check their cell phones for the time now anyway. One of my younger coworkers at the part-time job was all a'wonder that I still wore a watch the other day. "Don't you have a cell phone?" she asked, in a tone akin to "You still drive a horse and buggy to work? DON'T YOU HAVE A CAR?"

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    Replies
    1. i have relatives ditching landlines in favor of cell phones and I can't do it...but I don't know why I can't.

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  10. More like "dead people numbers..." HA!

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    Replies
    1. People still live in Rome, ya know...

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  11. Wonder what she's do with a phone that has a cord and a dial?

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    Replies
    1. there's a funny scene on "Good Luck Charlie" that addresses that. The girls have no idea how to use it.

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