“Oh, he’s mad at you.”
I heard Jaclyn’s voice just a second before I heard Miles slam his bedroom door. My first thought: “What did I do?”
As it turned out, Miles had been collecting his Duplo blocks in the middle of the living room floor and asking me to sit down and build “choo-choo train” out of them. After several moments of zero acknowledgement, Miles had stormed away in frustration.
And what had I been doing? What was distracting me so much? My phone? The TV? I couldn’t even tell you at this point. The one thing I’m sure of is that I wasn’t present for my kid.
Realizing my mistake, I rushed to Miles’s room to make amends. It only took a moment for him to accept my apology.
Later, as he was going to bed, I tucked him in and started to leave. He spoke up quickly, insisting I stay and look at his Finding Nemo book with him (a bedtime favorite). It was late for him, and he needed to go to sleep, but I relented and plopped back down next to him.
It’s easy for me to get caught up in what I need him to be doing at any given moment — whether it’s going to bed, sitting down to eat, getting dressed, etc. It’s also pretty easy, especially in our media-saturated world, for me to become distracted. The constant work in both cases is reminding myself to stop focusing on me and regain perspective on what he needs me to be doing.