Tablet in hand, snug in my blanket, I click open my Kindle app and start reading a new chapter. From somewhere to my left, I hear random chatter.
“So I was watching this video….”
“Then I remembered….”
“Hey Mom, what was my first….?”
Hey, kiddo. I am trying to read.
My brain scrambles to figure out what the last question was so I can respond accordingly, hoping that if I answer she will let me go back to reading.
The random chatter and even more random questions keep coming in rapid fire succession.
This moment. This one right here. This is when I have an internal argument with myself over parenting. It’s a real thing, and anyone with kids knows it’s true. It goes like this:
Why for the love of all that is good and holy can she not see that I am reading and just shut up??! Dude, you shouldn’t say that about your kid. These days are short, soon she won’t want to talk to you. Your book will be there later. You should stop reading and listen to her. Ya know, quality time. Well, I can’t take care of her if I don’t take care of me and me wants to read this book! Don’t good parents teach their kids about personal time, and make sure they know they aren’t the center of everything? Yes, but you took a shower today AND peed all by yourself so you already had your “me time” lady. No, no no no, peeing alone is not “me time”, I’m going to politely tell her, since she isn’t picking up on the clues of book in hand and ignoring her, that I am reading and we can talk later.
So that’s what I did. She apologized, with the saddest, most disappointed tone in her voice. I went back to reading.
The chatter started again. It’s like a compulsion. Then I heard her say, “I wish I had a friend that liked to talk.”
You’re breaking my heart kid.
I put down the tablet. I turned to her, and said okay let’s talk.
For ten minutes she was completely silent.
Until I picked up my book.