My five-year-old uses the term "next week" for any time that is not the present. It is surprisingly easy to understand what time he is referring to given the specificity of the phrase. It could be days in the past or minutes in the future, but I am rarely confounded in understanding exactly what time he is talking about.
It also represents a delightful binary of in-the-moment or not-in-the-moment. Things are either happening now or "next week". It got me thinking about whether or not we adults could apply such either/or thinking about time.
"I am writing. Next week I worked. Next week I have to work at 4 am because of a database update."
Perhaps it would be easier to just use "not-now" instead of the (for us, anyway) contextually-baggaged "next week").
"I am sitting at my computer. Not-now I will sleep. Not-now I took a nap. My sleep schedule is messed up by this 4 am database maintenance."
Again, "next week" doesn't specify a distance from now.
"Next week I'll be six. Next week I'll be a teenager."
"Right now I'm a little tired, a tiny bit discontent, but in general, ok. Not-now I will be happy. Not-now I will be sad. Not-now I will be proud. Not-now I will be humiliated."
"Now I am a bicyclist. Not-now I will ride my bike."
I wonder if there are other things we can apply this forced-binary language upon...