“Can you hold me mama?”
My sweet little boy said as I was putting him to sleep tonight. My Massimo likes for me to put him to sleep in my bed. I often look for distractions while I’m waiting for him to rest. Sometimes, I also issue threats for him to stop squirming and lay still.
While I was waiting tonight (as is often the case), instead of cuddling with this moving little monster, I scrolled through my social media. Tonight, he reminded me what was important.
“Of course I’ll hold you sweet baby.”
It isn’t only at bedtime that my darling has had to remind me to put away the distractions and focus on the present.
“No hello Mommy! No hello,” removing the gadget from my hand to make clear that it is time for me to play.
Over the past week or so, Massimo went from a toddler who played by himself most of the time to nearly a preschooler starving for attention and a playmate. This has been a huge shift for me.
Here’s why: when he played by himself, I could do whatever I wanted while he was playing. I could scroll through social media mindlessly. I could watch television. I could read a book. I could do house work. I could cook.
I could do all those things–yet– I would still be here if he needed. And I’d feel like I was still spending time with him. But I wasn’t really. I was often somewhere else.
This past week, he actually has wanted me to play with him–which required me to focus on the present–not whatever distraction I’m was favoring at the time.
His favorite toy of the moment is a cash register and the food that he likes to sell to me. “What you want? What you want? What you want mommy? What you want?” He says repeatedly.
He probably would repeat himself anyway because that’s just what he does right now. But I find myself so distracted (mostly with social media) that he will ask me over and over until I wake up and realize that this person who I made, the one who I adore, just wants actual interaction. I usually do too.
Here’s to putting up that “hello” and focusing on what’s in front of me because nothing in that hello is half as entertaining or remotely as fulfilling as focusing on the present with Massimo.