I must have heard this 10 times in what seemed like 5 minutes tonight between dinner and the moments just after. My son, who as usual spent more of dinner time talking than he did eating, was telling me about this or that while I was trying to squeeze in a few minutes of work at my desk as he finished his mac ‘n cheese. Of course I was only 1/3 paying attention to him and 2/3 paying attention to my work, and he knew it. I’m quite sure once (maybe twice), he said “mom, are you even listening to me?”
Ouch! My six-year-old knows I’m only partially paying attention to him.
Instead of taking a step back at that moment and putting my work aside, I made a quick whip to him about how I’ve heard him say “mom, mom, mom mooooom,” a tone of times since dinner started and then continued to tell him how he needs to finish his dinner. This routine went on for some time before it was decided that he was no longer hungry and “finished” with his dinner.
So off he went to play in his room, and I went back to my desk after cleaning up his dinner plate (I know, I know, I should have made him do it. But, I was frustrated and at that point it was easier for me to clean-up his plate than to hear him complain about having to do it. Yes, parenting fail (said sarcastically), it’s a good thing I have never claimed to be a perfect parent!) So … I’m back at my desk trying to get some work done and after 5-10 minutes it hit me like a ton of bricks!
My precious little boy just wanted to talk to me, about whatever was on his mind, and I was too distracted to notice it. Sure, my work is important it’s what supports my family but, so is my son. I got right up and went into his bedroom and what happened next is the “happy ending” to my story.
He was already lying down in bed, not because he was sad, because his daycare is centered around activity and does an excellent job of keeping him on the move during the day (and sure maybe we ate dinner a little late tonight … again I am so not a perfect parent). He looked at me and said he was tired, so I started getting him ready for bed. I snuggled with him to give hugs and kisses as part of our nightly routine, as we were talking I noticed he had done a horrible job of brushing his teeth – and of course I called him out on it. So what did my kid do? He blew in my face further illustrating to me that he had done a horrible job and I couldn’t help but start laughing hysterically! As I’m saying “eeeeewwwww” you need to do a better job of brushing your teeth, we’re both laughing out loud.
I got him settled down. Told him I love him and said good-night. I hope that tonight while I cannot erase what happened earlier, he will go to sleep thinking happy thoughts about sharing a laugh with mommy.