Eli 5.6 (now 5.7)Eli 5.7 has a little problem at school. Her name is Ellen.
"Dad, Ellen WON'T stop following me around," he said last week. "She follows me around at recess EVERY DAY. She's been doing this since OCTOBER." Eli has kind of a vague handle in general on how long things have been going on--"since October" might well mean "three days."
"Well, have you told her to stop?" I asked.
"Yes! I tell her every day, but she just keeps on doing it."
"Well, try this," I said. "The next time she follows you around, say 'Ellen, I want you to stop following me around. I'm serious. I don't like it when you do that.' Try that, okay?"
Yesterday I asked Eli how school went.
"Good," he said. "Great, actually. I told Ellen to stop following me around--AND SHE DID. I can't believe she FINALLY stopped and now I can play with all my friends again. It was GREAT."
He paused for a second. "But then she started up again."
Last night Eli came down after taking his bath, and he walked into my study and said "Dad, it looks like we need to start timeouts again."
"Timeouts?" I asked. "But you haven't needed a timeout in a long time."
"I know," he said.
"What did you do?" I asked.
"Well, I wasn't listening in the bath," he said.
"That's not good," I said.
"But Dad," he said. "EVERY DAY I don't listen!"
After eating a chicken nugget that was hotter than he expected: "Dad, it burned my mouth off, but luckily, I put it back on."
Last Sunday morning, I wanted to stop a place called Bear Rock and pick up a cookie on our way home. "We'll just run in there and run right out," I said.
"Dad, I don't want to," Eli said. "How long will it take?"
"Two minutes," I said.
"Two minutes? No way!" he said. "You are wrong."
When we pulled into the parking lot, my cellphone said 9:17. We went into Bear Rock--which was empty on a Sunday morning--bought a cookie and a drink, and walked out. I unlocked the car, and as Eli started to get in I looked at my cellphone.
"Dude, look at the time," I said.
"Two minutes," I said.
"Well, I stand incorrected," he said.
"Who am I?" I asked.
"Oh, no," he said. "I am NOT saying that again."
"But who am I?" I asked again.
"Dad, don't make me say it."
"I'm not asking you to say it," I said. "I just want to know who I am."
He sighed, then said "You are the Master of Time." Then he started laughing.
"Yes!" I said.
Eli, of course, has been the Master of Masks, the Master of Speed, and the Master of all kinds of other things. Time, though, is reserved for me.