We all had our eyes on the watch around Grandma’s wrist. It was the last one we needed to pull this off and we’d run out of ideas for how to get it.
Dad had loaned us his watch so we could use the stopwatch for a race in the backyard. Mom had let us borrow hers to look at the little diamonds around its face under a magnifying glass. Grandpa was helping us out with the whole project so we’d seen him change his watch back just in case anyone asked. He even changed the clocks in the kitchen for us while we distracted everyone in the living room by having a fake fight (though it quickly turned into a real one).
We didn’t have to worry about the VCR because no one had ever figured out how to get it to stop blinking 12:00. The clocks upstairs were a breeze. After the fight in the living room, we were each put in time out in a different room for fifteen minutes (or negative forty-five as it turned out).
But Grandma’s watch was old and an heirloom. We were only ever allowed to look at it while she wore it. So how were we supposed to switch the hands back an hour without her noticing?
“We could ask to look at it like we did Mom’s. You know, to compare,” Cheri suggested.
“They wouldn’t give it to us,” Billy said, not trying to hurt Cheri’s feelings intentionally but succeeding nonetheless. When he saw his little sister’s face fall he quickly backtracked. “Okay, maybe they would, but I don’t think they’d let us just take it like that unsupervised. Mom would make sure to watch us with it to make sure we didn’t break it.”
Cheri nodded in understanding.
“What about saying that Grandpa wanted to check it for something?” I said quietly. “We can talk to him about it first, see if he has any ideas for why he’d want to look at it.”
“And Grandma will say, ‘What could he possibly want with it that he can’t come ask me for it himself?’ then she’ll go find him,” Cheri said, doing her best imitation of Grandma.
“Well then, what are we going to do?” I hissed. “If we can’t change her watch we might as well go tell them what we’ve done and get ready to go home now.”
“Shhhh!” Billy tapped my shoulder and pointed.
Grandma was tapping the face of her watch lightly and holding it up to her ear.
“Mary, what time do you have?”
Mom looked at her watch. “It’s almost two fifteen. Why?”
Grandma started fidgeting with the old trinket. “I’m going to have to ask your father to check the battery later. I think mine must be dying.”