I've referred to Bear Standard Time here before. Those that know her have probably chuckled and thought, oh yes, she does do things by her own time schedule. There's just no rushing the Bear, ha-ha, and then you go on with your lives.
I. DONT. THINK. YOU. GET. IT.
You see, I've been school clothes shopping with her for the past two days. This has involved her trying on numerous articles of clothing before buying them, since surprise! she grew another ten or fourteen inches over the summer. In the time I've spent sitting in women's fitting rooms, I've had the opportunity to mull over her, shall we say, dawdliness? I've come to the shocking conclusion that my kid exists in an entirely different space-time continuum from the rest of the human race.
To zip to the opposite end of the spectrum for a second, let's take a look at Bug. I send her into a fitting room stall with a pair of jeans and a top with the instructions to first remove all of her clothing (you have to be specific, I've learned), and put the new items on. I see her clothes hit the floor and hear minor clattering as plastic hangers are tossed hither and yon. Within fifteen seconds, the stall door crashes open and Bug appears wreathed in smiles.
"I LOVE it! Let's buy it!" she tells me while sashaying to the big mirror, where she practices a variety of twirls and coy, over-the-shoulder looks into the mirror. In the interests of fair reporting, I should point out that the jeans are likely not zipped and the neckline of the shirt is twisted so that the "scratchy" tag dare not touch her skin. After forcing her to stand still for several consecutive seconds (not easy - and she will still be twisting to glance at the mirror while I'm evaluating the outfit), I ship her back to the stall. Clatter, bump, door bangs open, and she emerges, dressed, with a tangled armful of clothes and hangers.
Total elapsed time: three minutes. Tops.
I send Bear into a stall with a pair of jeans, a top, and the same instructions. It is silent in her stall. A couple of minutes slide by. I lean from my chair to try to glimpse under her door whether she's made any progress. Can't tell. I wait another few minutes.
I mentally review my grocery list. I wonder if I have canned artichoke hearts or if I should pick some up at Hannaford. I think about what I'll be making for dinners this week. I decide to pick some up.
I lean down from my chair and take a more aggressive peek under her stall door. I can see that she still has on her shoes and capris that she wore in to the store.
"Bear?" I call, "Everything OK in there?"
Silence. A line is forming outside the fitting rooms. I start to get tense.
"Bear? Are you almost ready?"
A few seconds of quiet, then a languid, "Yeah." There is minor rustling, like a newborn chick in a pile of shredded paper.
I review the steps necessary to take off a t-shirt, capris, and Crocs, then to put on one shirt and pair of jeans. I tick them off mentally at about the speed I feel it would reasonably take to perform. Still no Bear.
It ends like it always does. When I run out of plausible scenarios like stuck zippers or tricky buttons and get to the "What in the bloody hell is that child DOING?" point, I head over to grab the doorknob and dress the kid myself, and she emerges with a tiny click of the door latch, eyes wide to find me standing one inch from the door.
"What?" she asks.
And don't get me started on how long it takes her to get her own clothes back on once we determine whether or not the new outfit is a keeper.
Total elapsed time: Half of my natural life.