Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

Making It Last

Like all young children, my son enjoys repetitious games. He’ll ask: “Again?” And then: “Again?” On and on until I finally announce a countdown – a number of times we can play the game, before we hit the final time, and then have to stop. Around this time last year, I mentioned on the blog the first moment when it began to occur to him that perhaps there might be some way to evade the dreaded “Last time!” decree. That effort didn’t work, but this initial failure was no reason to stop trying to circumvent the system… The current strategy involves waiting for the “Last time!” – and then making a break for it. So, we might be playing ball, for example, and get to the last toss – and, instead of actually taking his “last time”, he’ll run off with the ball and shut himself in a room.

This doesn’t, however, mean that the adult with whom he’s been playing is free to go off and leave the game unfinished. If my son walks out, and – as normally happens – finds the adult has given up after a few minutes, and wandered off to do something else, this is the occasion for tears and indignation: “I want my last time!!!” So back to the game he and the adult will go, preparing for the final ball toss. But once again he makes a break for it, and ends up hiding with the ball in his room.

The desire, apparently, is that the moment should be frozen – the game must last forever – eternally suspended, hanging incomplete – as long as my son doesn’t effect the “last time” by enacting his side of the event.

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2 responses to “Making It Last

  1. Nate January 3, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    That’s fantastic. Have you ever read the Lewis Carroll piece “What the Tortoise Said to Achilles”? Your post reminded me of that.

    happy new year.

  2. N Pepperell January 4, 2008 at 12:07 am

    lol – what a great association :-) On New Year’s Eve, the “last time” impulse extended to the Final Sparkler – which is still sitting, awaiting its light. To my son, perhaps, it’s still 2007…

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