Time is a concept completely lost on children. I think that's part of the reason life is so frustrating for them. Like most children her age, Rachel has been working on understanding time but she just can't quite get it.
If I tell her, "We're doing that tomorrow," she inevitably asks me, "Tomorrow-today?"
Tomorrow-today? What is that even supposed to mean?
"Tomorrow-tomorrow," I tell her, "As in you have to go to sleep and then wake up. That tomorrow."
I think she thinks tomorrow simply means "later" so she is wondering if we will be doing something later today. But then sometimes I think she thinks today means "now" because if I tell her that I'll do something later she'll throw a fit, demanding that it be done "today."
Forget trying to tell the child to "wait five minutes."
The concept of yesterday is equally lost on her. Just the other day I caught her asking Grandpa what he did "lasterday."
Lasterday I was cleaning the kitchen after dinner and Rachel wandered into the kitchen wearing nothing but her skivvies. She had been wearing a t-shirt over a leotard over some pants and apparently had to take it all off to visit the bathroom.
"You need to put some clothes back on," I instructed her, "It's too cold to run around in your underwear."
"I know, Mom, but I was wondering if I can put on my jammies. It's getting dark outside and I am getting a little sleepy and we already had dinner, so is it almost bedtime?"
"Sure, you can put on your jammies." I'm not going to say no to that one. "And it is almost bedtime but not quite. We'll have story time after I finish the dishes and then we'll get Daddy for scriptures and prayer."
"Is that how you tell time?" Rachel asked.
"Is what how you tell time?" I asked back.
"Well, because it's dark then it's almost bedtime," she said.
"Oh, sure, that's almost how you tell time. But not quite."
As competent as I am with earthly time, I know I am as incompetent as a three-year-old when it comes to heavenly time. I'm sure this makes me seem impatient, and perhaps a little whiney, when I pray.
"Hi. It's me again. I know I just asked lasterday for this blessing but if I could get it tomorrow-today instead of tomorrow-tomorrow, that'd be great."