December 3, 2009

Won't Someone PLEASE Focus on the CHILDREN!

I had a terrible dream last night about Henry, and when I woke up I DID feel relieved it wasn't true, but I also thought nauseatingly of the dream every time I looked at him so it wasn't a "wake up and hug the children" situation, more of a lingering bad/sad feeling.

And I also dreamed I found the perfect cat for us, and so now I'm kind of sad that we can't have that cat.


I've been Very! Busy! recently, and it's making it hard to turn my attention to the children. If they need food or potty help or something practical, it's easier---but if they need to show me a series of magic tricks, or climb on me, or make jokes, or tell me the plot of a TV show, or talk about a series of topics one sentence at a time spaced one minute apart, I'm clenching my teeth and DYING to get back to what I was doing.

I found a trick that helps: I put one hand on the child's back or shoulder, or I hold the child's hand, or pull the child onto my lap, or whatever makes sense for the situation---the gist of it is that I find if I maintain physical contact with the child, it's easier to maintain mental contact.

23 comments:

therextras said...

Ah, the power of touch!

Perfectly simple and loving.

Barbara

Kristi said...

I do believe you're about to announce Very! Exciting! Swistley! News! How perceptive am I? Or am I imagining very! exciting! possibilities! for! a! virtual! stranger! to avoid this giant mound of paperwork on my desk?

I'm on my third cup, I get very ! by my third cup. Pardon.

Allison said...

I have a topic request. Can you write about your kids eating habits? Do they all eat what you make? Are they "good eaters"? How did you decide to teach them how to eat what you serve? I'm having difficulty with my toddler who used to eat well and now won't. I'm seeking advice or good books or SOMETHING!
Kay.Thx.Bye.

Swistle said...

Kristi- Oh, sadly no. It's the busyness of holiday prep + new review blog + bake sale I somehow signed up to bake for + must keep up with Twitter.

Allison- They are BAD EATERS and dinner is a torment. I make kid-friendly foods (Kraft mac and cheese, fish sticks) and they STILL complain and don't eat. I have zero advice because we're in near-complete Vegetable Fail around here.

Hillary said...

I find that touching my toddler keeps him more focused, too. Win all around.

Alicia @ bethsix said...

Oooh, brilliant with the touch. I will try this when I'm going insane with the TV show plot thing. This is the BANE OF MY EXISTENCE with my 8-year-old. Gah. It's usually SpongeBob, too, which I can't stand even when I see it with my own eyes.

Sarah said...

That's a great idea. I may use that one.

Also, how is the great decluttering going? I could use some inspiration.

desperate housewife said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Swistle said...

Sarah- Er, yeahhhhhhh, not so much decluttering occurring. I'm worried that without my mother-in-law to motivate me, we will descend into utter (as opposed to "friendly") squalor.

may said...

What's with my kid always wanting to climb on me?? I recently realized that I hate it, and in fact get VIOLENTLY ANGRY when my legs and sorry excuse for a stomach and sore boobs are being ground into the couch by my toddler's knees and elbows.

jiveturkey said...

Dude: awesome advice. I'm-a keep this in my back pocket for when the time comes. I can totally remember my mom not fully paying attention to my story/awesome trick/dance routine and it used to bum me out, but now that I'm on the other end, I can TOTALLY understand how hard it is to pay attention to a rambling 5-year-old narrative when there is stuff to be done.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a great compromise. Just last night, my son was in the middle of telling me all about this great awesome plot of some horribly stupid show he watched, and I had to interrupt him, with "Sorry, honey, I understand that you really love that show and that's great, but I'm really not interested in hearing about it, it's not funny to me." Sigh. He gets lots of attention from me sometimes, but long drawn-out plots about toilet humor, not so much.

bat7mess said...

I TOTALLY AGREE! When I am very busy with something and my almost 3 year old NEEDS ME RIGHT NOW! I often sit her on my lap and talk to her for just a min or 2. It definitely seems like quality is more important than quantity with kids sometimes.

Swistle said...

Anonymous- Same here. I'll "look at this video game!," like, three times, and then it's, "Honey, I don't want to look at the game anymore." And I will listen to a BRIEF SpongeBob plot, but there is a LIMIT.

Bronwyn said...

My older son (33 mos) is all knees and elbows, too, may. He and the 13 month-old are in a Tackle Mommy phase, wherein I cannot sit without being under one (usually both) of them. I can't stand without them hanging on my knees - which of course means I can't move without somebody falling over and wailing.

Last night I gave up and just sat on the floor with my knees drawn up, head hidden in my arms, as they used me as a jungle gym.

All of which is to say that touching helps me focus when they need attention, but I'm trying to figure out how to get them to STOP touching me.

Cue Bill Cosby: "WILL YOU STOP TOUCHING ME!... NOBODY is to touch ANYBODY AGAIN!"

Lora said...

Oh yes, I am right there with you. My son has a current need for me to play car chase with him and his cars. I hate car chase. But he loves it, and truly he has no one else to do this with at the moment. So I set a timer for 15 minutes, and do it for that long, and then get back to what I need to get done. That has helped. I like your solution too.

Marie Green said...

One of my all-time favorite Marin quotes is "Mommy! Look!... No, Mommy. Look with your EYES!"

Leah Rubin said...

You sound really stressed. Cut yourself some slack and stop pushing yourself to be perfect! Deeeeeeeep cleansing breathhhhhhh and ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut... Ahh... better!

Andria said...

I have the perfect cat for you. He is accomplished at giving 4 am wakeup "meows", and is really into acupuncture, apparently, as evidenced by the brutal kneading he does when you are asleep in bed.
Anyone want him? Bueller? Bueller??

Nicole said...

It seems the busier and more distracted I get, the more desperately needy my kids get. (I get it, the two are related). Last week, my older son needed me to look at how great he was doing on his puzzle! Only he needed me to look every time he put a puzzle piece in the puzzle correctly. It was a huge puzzle. I thought I would explode.

cardiogirl said...

Okay maybe I'm projecting here, but I was thinking if I put my foot on my kid's thigh maybe I could stay on the computer and write.

Is that what you're talking about?

Bronwyn said...

cardiogirl owes me a new keyboard

Coffee asploded everywhere!

Kelsey said...

I really like this idea because I KNOW I'm not fully attentive to the children, er, often.