I'm sure you've heard the saying, "The days are long but the years are short." So true, right? Except some days are positively interminable. When my daughter was small, I often felt like even the days were flying by, but the hours could be oh-so long. Of course, they were the longest in the most inconvenient time. On a plane, at a restaurant, stuck in traffic; kids just have a way of doing the impossible and stopping time in the most inconvenient and inescapable places.
We managed about 20 flights with our daughter before she stopped time and made me worry that they might make an emergency landing in order to get her to stop crying. The stewardess even came over and tried to take her from us, thinking a change of scenery was going to help. Not so, kind stewardess. Not so in the slightest. She screamed like the world was ending for what felt like hours, but was probably only 20 minutes. We tried everything we could to calm her down, but in the end we just had to wait it out and pray that most of the other people on the plane either had already experienced this horror themselves or would someday understand what we were going through.
There's some kind of Murphy's law of babies that states if you really, really need them to avoid experiencing a total meltdown, that's precisely when it's most likely to happen. Here are a few of the most popular spots for babies to do the impossible and stop time, because at least we're all in this together, right?
When You're At A Restaurant
Most likely in a fancy restaurant where there aren't many other kids and there's usually a snooty waiter looking down their nose at your small human making a mess they're going to have to clean up.
When They're Supposed To Be Sleeping
Yesterday I put my yawning, eye-rubbing daughter down for a nap and crossed my fingers that she would use the one hour window for sleep before she had to be dropped at play school. One hour later (which felt like three hours, by the way), she hadn't slept a wink.
When They're On An Airplane
Your little one doesn't have to be screaming to make it feel like time has stopped on an airplane. Try a six hour red-eye flight in a middle seat with a sweaty baby strapped to you in a baby carrier. I've never watched the clock more in my life.
When You're Stuck In Traffic
Where there is traffic, there will inevitably be a crying baby. If your baby is anything like my daughter, they're happy enough to sleep if the car is moving, but stop for a minute and all hell breaks loose.
When They Want You To Read The Same Book Over And Over Again
Of course, the book is either seven measly pages long or a longer tongue-twister that makes your brain hurt by the end. It's hard to imagine that even those long books only take about six minutes to read but, well, here we are.
When It's Their Witching Hour
They call it a witching hour but some days it feels like a witching eternity, am I right?!
When You're In Line At The Grocery Store
You can picture it: you're stuck in line at the grocery store, your groceries are on the belt, there's a sour looking guy waiting behind you and the lady ahead of you is working through a stack of at least a hundred coupons. That's when your sweet baby decides they've had more than enough and they're ready to let everyone for miles around know about it. Time. Stops.
When You're Trying To Enjoy A Performance
At any point when your baby is expected to be a relatively quiet member of an audience, you can bet time is going to slow to a crawl.
When They Refuse To Get Dressed
My daughter has a whole other level of drama when it comes to getting her changed. Anything that involves staying still for 10 minutes becomes a battle that feels much, much longer. Getting her dressed is often a test of wills, with her running around the house half-dressed while I try to wiggle her clothes onto her. Why you gotta make things so difficult, kid?
When They're Obsessed With Peek-A-Boo
Sometimes those adorable games your baby starts playing make time slow to a halt, especially when you're asked to repeat them "again" and "again!"
Then again, there's something to be said for this magical ability children just innately have. Time does seem to move way too quickly, so if the clock stops every once in a while (even when it's kind of the worst), I'll take it.