By now, you know my son adores clocks. You’ll remember the story about how we took him to the zoo, and he stopped to stare at a clock rather than see any more animals. You may even recall the rather amusing turns of phrase he’s come up with when talking about his clocks. The clock love just keeps growing, and finding new outlets.
One of my son’s favourite types of outings, is visiting local clock towers. The photo at the bottom of this post, is one I took in the weekend; we’d been to a park as a family, but the outing wasn’t over until we stopped off for him to happy dance around a tower clock on the way back home. He also loves visiting jewelry stores, to look at the watches on display.
Yesterday his class visited a historic village. The highlight for my son, according to his teacher, was seeing grandfather clocks. He’s seen them on the TV, he’s seen them on the computer, but to see a real-life full-size grandfather clock was particularly special.
He’s made it very clear to us that he wants to go see Big Ben. We are in New Zealand. Big Ben is just about as far away from New Zealand as you can get. It’s a long-term goal; we’ve told him he might be able to visit it as a man (and yes I’ve had to calculate for him how many days it will be until he starts being a man – it was 4000 and something). He also plans to buy himself a grandfather clock of his own when he gets a job. I’m all for motivation, even if he is only five.
He used to have two wristwatches, but he played with them too much and they stopped working. Once we stopped him wearing them to school (since they weren’t telling the correct time anyway), I placated him by drawing a watch on his wrist. He’s since started drawing clocks and watches on himself. I’m just glad he’s not old enough to get a tattoo! He loves drawing clocks on places that aren’t his own skin too. He draws them so much that it’s noticeably improved his fine motor skills, as he tries to master a circle and the correct placement of those dashes, dots, or numbers around the clock face.
He knows his grandfather clocks from his cuckoo clocks, his wristwatches from his alarm clocks, his analog from his digital. He knows a minute hand from an hour hand from a second hand from an alarm hand. He also knows roman numerals. He’s even pretty good at telling the time.
Each new room he enters or TV program he sees, he’s looking for a clock in the background and lets us know when he finds it. His mind is always tuned to clocks. They are his chosen rewards for good behaviour; if he gets his hair cut (which is a big deal for him), he gets a new clock or at the very least, a new children’s book about telling time. I spent a good while one day trying to get him something extra special; a book with all the different types of clocks in it. I found a few about antiques, but nothing worthy of my son’s level of passion.
I’ve now got rather used to the endless ticking that surrounds me at home. It doesn’t maddenly distract me from everything the way that it used to. I’ve even tried to become passionate about the clocks like my son; so I can share in his joy and excitement. It doesn’t fascinate me particularly though; I can see their occasional beauty, but I wouldn’t want to look at them all day (or even for more than a few minutes).
But I love my son. So much. And if he thinks clocks are worth loving, then that makes them pretty special in my book too.