April 16, 2012

My Daughters, Without Watches

I have a disorder.

It's genetic.  Since my parents both had the genes for it, it was passed along to me.  Almost everyone on my mother's side of the family has it as well.  It is a disease that has afflicted us for a very long time.  Don't worry though.  There is only a risk of contagion if you spend excessive amounts of time with us over the course of years and years.  It's not fatal, but can be quite harmful to those around us if we don't control it.

My personal symptoms include jittery hands, nervous pacing, heightened stress and anxiety and severe annoyance at others who do not share my malady.

I suffer from agriadventus.

For those of you too lazy to look up on Wikipedia that I just made that up from cobbled-together Latin, it means that I have chronic punctuality.

My mother's girlfriend refers to it as "Aion Time."

If I am not at least 5 minutes early for something, I go into mental collapse.  To meet up with friends, I will be 5-10 minutes early.  For the movies, 15-20.  For a job interview, 45-60.  You tell me to be somewhere at 6:00, I'll be there and ready to go at 5:45 at the latest.

On my more lucid days, I justify this by saying that it's just rude to be late.  If someone tells you to be somewhere at 1:00 and you show up at 1:12, you are late and rude.  In an age of cellphones, you could at least call to say "My car is trapped in traffic because a semi full of tripe overturned while trying to avoid hitting a deer and now the cows from neighboring farms are storming the highway trying to reclaim the remnants of their lost kin!"

Or even make something up!

"I couldn't decide which hat to wear!"

On my MOST lucid days, I realize that I'm being a little nuts.  Maybe more than a little.

In any event, the time-table issue has been one of the biggest challenges for me as a parent.  Toddlers couldn't give two craps what time it is.

It has also been a constant source of tension in my marriage since Sara is not on Aion Time.  Yet.  She's getting much better.

These pictures took 40 minutes to take, I'm sure...

When we were first dating, she went to Florida for Christmas break for about 3 weeks.  When she got back, knowing that I was anxiously waiting to see her because I missed and loved her so much, she made me wait 4 hours before calling me.  I was catatonic by the time she did.  She's much better now at accommodating my disability.  (And tolerating my crazy, for which I forever grateful)

My daughters, however, not so much.

Rushing out the door to go to an appointment?  "Daddy!  Poop!"

Leaving the house to do yardwork? "Daddy's boots!!"

Trying to put them to sleep so I can run to the gym?  "Another story! Sing, daddy! I'm not going to close my eyes, but just sit here on your lap in the dark poking you in the nostril and talking to myself for an hour."

I will get them trained eventually.  I hope I can do under the guise of civility and politeness, explaining that it's important to honor our commitments and always be true to our word when making appointments.  That people rely on time tables and if someone is going to mess it up, it should never be us.

Most likely, I will train them through rigorous ruthless repetition and tediously tempered timeliness, as well as other appropriately awesome alliterations.  Also, insanity.  The white rabbit has nothing on me...
As usual, this was not at all where I wanted this post to head, but now I don't have time to go back and change it.

I have a schedule to keep!



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