My daughter has developed this habit lately of randomly announcing the time. In the car, at home, at night when she’s in bed, while she’s watching TV, playing a game on her tablet or in class. It’s a compulsion. She used to only announce the time on the hour. Now she announces any time that pops up when she has eyes on a digital clock of any kind. She also spouts out random math problems related to the time; it’s a bonus when two of the 3 or 4 digits are factors of the third or if the time has just changed and there are no seconds into the hour yet.
“It’s exactly 12:34! 3 times 4 is 12! 12 divided by 3 is 4!”
“It’s exactly 4 o’clock no seconds! The time just changed and no seconds! Exactly 4 o’clock! 4 times 0 is 0! 4 plus 0 is 4!
It’s mind boggling. She thinks so quickly. We’ve teased her and tried to mimic her, but we are too slow, as if we can’t really transition to do simple math that quickly. She yells at us and tells us we have to find our own “thing.” The other day she told my son he has to keep track of license plates or cars when we are driving, but he can’t yell out the time. A friend of mine likes to yell out the time on the hour and stretch the word seconds about 3 seconds so we’ve officially moved into the next hour. “It’s exactly 7 o’clock no secooonnnnnndddsss!” It drives her crazy.
The other day when we were driving, she asked me to put my hand over the clock at 4:58 to block it because she “couldn’t help herself.” As we were coming up on the hour, she pushed my hand away and yelled “It’s exactly 5 o’clock! No seconds! The time just changed!” I just shook my head.
I asked her a couple of months ago if she does it at school. She says she has and sometimes she gets in trouble. I told her that maybe she is disrupting the class and that’s why she gets in trouble. She told me that she has done it when other students are talking. She said that one time a boy was sharing a sad story about his grandfather dying and she interrupted, yelling “It’s exactly 2 o’clock!”
“I just can’t help it, Mommy.”
It might be that upon reading this, one of you messages me and tells me she has some rare disorder that involves yelling out the time, and that other people do it too. Maybe it’s a quirk that she will grow out of. But for now, I will just have to get used to that random outburst that comes out of the darkness after she has gone to bed and I’m assuming, has fallen fast asleep – “It’s exactly 11 o’clock!”