Over the weekend there were a few things that made me think about the time I spend with Little Bear and how much we both get from that time.
Firstly, my husband and I watched a film called ‘Room’, where a mother is trapped in a shed with her son for 5 years and then escapes. There were parts of this film that made me think about how imaginative she was, how she was able to create games and stories, and on the whole, remain calm despite being together all the time in a confined space. Other parts of the film, once they were free, made me think about my availability to Little Bear. I’m with him nearly all the time, but how much of that time do I spend doing things for me? Taking him places he doesn’t enjoy (mainly shops), or putting off his pleas to play because I have one more email to send, one more bit of washing to do. Life in a room is free from many of those adult tasks therefore enabling you to have more time really focusing on their needs.
Secondly, I read an article about the language we use around children. Now, I studied child development, I am a child carer, my university dissertation looked at language use…I know what I should do, but like all things, our good intentions slide. This article reminded me about not rushing children when they speak, eat, or walk; not asking them to come quickly and then berating them for running indoors. It reminded me about positive reinforcement, explaining why the behaviour or action was good not just saying “well done”. It made me realign my parenting voice and bring it back to friendly, supportive, and encouraging rather than bordering on shrill, demanding, and exasperated!
And finally…I dropped my phone down the toilet. It died, dead as a dodo! Nothing could revive it! And so, from 9.30am Sunday until 7pm Monday, I was without a phone. And I loved it!! I found time passed more happily and I was less distracted, I used the iPad to order food shopping but that was pretty much it for day on Monday. It made me realise how much I check my phone, and how unnecessary it is! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not casting technology aside, but I am going to be more mindful of how I use it around Little Bear.
Before I had him, I thought I would be going back to work and that I would be desperate for my time with him, but because I am with him so much now, I think I sometimes risk not giving him enough attention because I always feel there will be more time.
But there won’t always be. He will grow up, he will go to school, he will leave home…and then I will be wishing I had taken more time.