The Concept of Time

Four year olds don’t really have the greatest concept of time.  That’s why we made a paper chain to count down the days to Horatio’s return.

When we made the chain, it had 88 links- 88 days until Daddy comes home.

The boys and I cut the construction paper and then taped the links, one by one, until we had the right number to count down until Daddy comes home.  Each night, before bed, we cut off one link, since we are one day closer to the end of deployment.  Using the paper chain helps Harold visualize how many days are left before Daddy comes home.  (84 as of today.)

Pretty much any event we talk about that will take place in the future is talked about in terms of before Daddy comes home or after Daddy comes home.

Yesterday, Harold and I planted a garden.  After what the boys call and “epic fail” last year, with our garden of tomatoes and strawberries (the critters at everything), we decided to focus on hardier items this year.  We planted corn, watermelons and two types of pumpkins.

Planting pumpkins made Harold think of Halloween, and he spent the afternoon telling me what costumes he wants to wear.  Of course it is months away, but in the mind of a four year old, it’s never too early to decide on our Halloween costumes.  He vacillates between Darth Vader, a soldier and a pumpkin.

Young Harold has plenty of time to decide what he wants to be and I learned a hard lesson in years past.  I will NOT buy the costume too far in advance.  The boys ALWAYS change their minds.  I have a Lord Voldemort costume that went unworn last year because Bob really wanted to be Lord Voldemort for Halloween and then the Harry Potter phase had passed by the time October 31 rolled around.

I established a policy for Halloween costumes last year:

  • If one of the boys requests a costume and I buy said costume and then he changes his mind, he can wear it anyway or make his own costume or choose one from the costume bin, which is filled with all kinds of fun dress up items.

If kids weren’t so indecisive, I’d be out buying a costume now, when there are so many on sale at sites like, but buying something no one wants is NOT saving money.  That’s another lesson I learned the hard way.

This post was sponsored by our friends at Halloween Mart.


About Commander in Chief At home

Erin is a military spouse and, sometimes temporarily single mom to 4 boys. She's a parenting coach, writer, teacher, special needs (Autism) mom, and much more.
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