Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"Put Da Phone in Da Butt"

My son has always been drawn to my iPhone. It's amazing to me that while I still sometimes am amazed that I carry my entire life in my pocket, Munch will grow up with this as the norm, expected. He won't have to stand next to a rotary phone with a tangled cord in order to speak to someone. He will be able to talk to a friend while walking down the street, something that I never could have imagined when I was little.

I am hyper-aware of my tendency to "iPhone addiction." I am one of those who feel compelled to check my email each time I hear it ding, to check Twitter every few minutes, to always have my phone within reach. I work to put my phone out of sight as soon as I pick Munch up from daycare, but it doesn't always work out that way.

Last night, Munch showed that he too is hyper-aware of the phone's presence. As I scrolled through whatever inane information, he said, "Mommy put down da phone." He said the same thing to his daddy later on.

We listened.

I think we have to listen. That was Munch's way of telling me to refocus. To unplug from whatever it was that I just had to look at, to see what really mattered--my child. My real life. Munch is 2 years old. And he understood that I was distracted from him.

I'm not saying that we parents must always make our children the center of our attention. But I am a firm believer that, especially for us working parents, the moments of play time and quiet time with our children are precious and deserving of at least as much concentration we give to our precious screens.

And it's also a reminder that our kids are always watching. Later, Munch told me to "Put da phone in da butt." I almost died laughing--I always put my phone in my back pocket, and Munch was telling me in no uncertain terms to put it away where it belonged. In da butt.

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