Elijah, my dear 2.5 year old, is a fairly mellow guy. Ha! Just kidding.
These day, however, he is capable of playing by himself for minutes, sometimes tens of minutes at a time. It is a beautiful thing. It is a thing that enables me to nurse Isabel in peace, or wash a few dishes, or stare into space while I drink my tea.
But...no matter how engrossed he is in his play dough/dirt digging/bean counting, there is nothing like the ring of the phone to put an end to the peace and quiet. And checking my email? Not a chance. There is something about technology that is truly the kiss of death, behaviorally speaking.
And so, I have decided to take some drastic measures. The phone, well, that one will just have to stay. I don't get too many calls during the day, anyway, and if I put the phone on speaker and Elijah can add his two cents, I can usually take care of business. The computer though...
I've been reading this great book, Simplicity Parenting, which I will write about more another day, but basically. the author has four ways that you can simplify your family life, and one of them, the chapter I haven't read yet, is about filtering out the adult world. Before I have even read it, though, I know what it will compel me to do. I need to stop using the computer when the kids are awake. That's it. I just do. I'm not saying that you need to do this. I am not saying that parents need to do this. I need to do this.
Because what I have realized is that when I'm washing the dishes, or drinking tea, to Elijah, I am still accessible. He could choose do join me, or not. The computer, though, is a black hole for my attention - none can escape to rest on him. And am I really going to get anything done right then? I'm not so important that checking my email can't wait a few hours. In fact, the people that find me most important are already at my house. And if anyone is going to suck up all my attention, well, it should probably be them.