Time for Crissy Field

Hey Kids! is a weekly feature looking at what’s coming up for families and kids of all ages.

We are a family of late-comers.

It took my son 35 hours to be born, and he was three weeks past his due date. My husband keeps forgetting to get his watch fixed (or perhaps the repair shop has just closed). I wasn’t late for my wedding, but no one would have been surprised.

Recently, when a relative mentioned teaching her son to tell time at age 2, my ears perked up. Apparently you can buy “toddler clocks” now: when it’s nighttime/sleep time, a moon shines; when it’s OK to wake, a sun comes out. Another clock model uses numbers and recordings. I could set an alarm for 7 a.m.; Jasper could press the clock at say, 7:20, and it would say “7:20, OK to wake.”

Poking around for toddler clocks led to the Clock of the Long Now, a clock of birds (a tribe in New Guinea teaches their children to tell time by whichever bird sings loudly at that moment. I guess a rooster would be the bird for dawn), and a clock of scents. And different concepts of time too, not just linear and circular, but functional. Until the advent of railroads, most of America relied on task time (time to milk the cows, time to feed the chickens), which is responsive and reactive in nature, and personal time (non-task dominated time: sleeping, reading, waiting), which is more fungible and contemplative.

But railroads, like all machines, had to “keep time.” As the world has become more and more industrialized, most of us wear watches and depend on clocks to tell us what to do next. Disappearing is the concept of time as something embedded and inherent in nature, and only roughly described by clocks. We look outward and so perforce ignore our internal rhythm. Perhaps this is why physics can be so confusing: We have no inherent understanding of Einstein’s concept of individual time.

Perhaps if I hadn’t looked at the calendar, I would have known: Jasper wasn’t late, the calculations were wrong. He is here now. It is time for the tomatoes, and time for swimming. It is time for what comes after Spring, and before Fall.

I’m a morning person blessed with a late sleeper. A minute or two longer of him in bed means more for me. So on second thought, I’m not buying a toddler clock anytime soon. There is time, yet, for him to learn that task.

“Booboo and the Vulture” by Lawrence Lee, from “The Clock of Birds.”

Something colorful, music, food, sunshine…. Time enough for these activities, this week.

Saturday Morning was the Time for Cartoons for Me….
But snacks and stories sound like a pretty good replacement.
Peanut Butter and the Pen: Creative Writing Workshop for Children. Saturday, October 2, 10 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Ages 6-12. $30-$35. info@18reasons.org to register. 18 Reasons, 593 Guerrero at 18th.

Breakfast, and Dancing
The Hollywood fantasy is a family dancing joyously around the table. I’ve never been clear on what brand of coffee the family has had (Ritual? Four Barrel?), or how many pots, but outsourcing this activity seems a lot more doable. Enzo Garcia presents the appropriate accordion, guitar, banjo and musical saw singalong on Saturday mornings.
Breakfast with Enzo. Saturdays, 10 a.m.-noon (two sets, one at 10, one at 11). Ages 0-12. $5. Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, 515 Cortland at Andover.

Time to learn our ABCs
And time for Sesame Street’s 40th birthday. Our favorite numbers, or our first exposure to breastfeeding(!), Cookie Monster, Elmo, all of Jim Hensen’s magic is celebrated this month at the Yerba Buena Center with special event showings.
More Muppet Magic: Jim Henson’s Legacy. October 1-30; times and program offerings vary. All ages. $2-$8; purchase tickets in person or online. YBCA, 701 Mission Street at 3rd.

And Time for Hispanic Heritage
October is Hispanic Heritage month, and as part of the celebration, the library plays host to MAPP’s Family Art project this weekend, plus celebratory music all afternoon.
Family Art Program. Saturday, October 2, 1-4 pm. All ages. Free. Mission Branch Library, 300 Bartlett at 24th.

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Kate lives, eats, reads and daydreams on the edge of the Mission, just off of 24th St. She's been in San Francisco for 11 years and is the proud parent of a (2 year old) native.

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