Sunday, September 13, 2015

Telling Time

It isn't always drama and trauma at our house. Sometimes, it's just small things that have a way of stabbing you in the heart with an icicle.

"What time is it?" I asked.

"5:80," he replied. Huh? The little hand was on the five, and the big hand was on the eight.

"The little hand is on the one. So, what hour is it?" I asked the next day.

"1," he replied. Correct. Whew.

"The big hand is just past the 2, so how many minutes is that?" I asked.

"20," he offered. Not the right answer, but I thought maybe I had an idea where he was going with this one. I decided to go for the explanation:

"The big hand counts off the minutes, and there are five minutes between each number." Blank stare. I counted the minutes off for him. Blank stare. Well, okay, then.

Usually, it isn't a problem at all. He can tell time, no problem. Other times, I think I'd better get out his digital watch. But he always manages to set that on military time (24-hour time setting) somehow, and then he can't do the math, and it's even more confusing and frustrating. "Just subtract twelve, honey, and that'll be what time it is," I suggest helpfully.

But he can't (usually) do math in his head any more, something I realized not long ago. So I printed a sheet of basic math problems for him to try, and that didn't go well.

My husband is a guy who had a brilliant mind and a memory like a steel trap. Sometimes, you don't even realize when an ability has been lost. That loss has come about incrementally, like a thief stealing one small item at a time. You don't realize anything is missing until it's all gone.