Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 144: Presence

I talk a lot about mental and emotional presence, but I've been noticing lately that my physical presence has been sorely lacking with Jackson.

Not needing any help with the Easter loot
I'm home with the boys all day every day and can literally count on one hand the number of times I've been away in as many months. So it feels like I couldn't possibly be any more physically present, but the truth is sometimes I'm here without really "being here."

When my attention is pulled in too many directions at once, I forget that physical presence at this stage of development literally means standing next to him, holding his hand, helping him.

On a busy morning when we're trying to get to an appointment on time (riiiiiight), it's far too tempting to make a request while I tend to other things.

Please go potty while I clean up breakfast.
Could you please pick out a few toys to bring with us while I pack a snack?
Put on your shoes while I get Max dressed, please!

Whether or not it feels like it to me, these are complex tasks for him.

Let's break it down: 
Man of many hats
Go up to a room filled with toys (let me get this straight, I'm *not* supposed to be playing in the play room?), choose a few (what size? how many? which ones? they're *all* my favorite!), place them in a bag (but this is my super awesome hat which cannot be filled with anything other than my head!), walk past your bedroom (but I'm not fully dressed until I'm wearing a second shirt and socks on my hands!) and go to the front door (but I want to eat the snacks nowwww!).

On top of that, I'm sending him conflicting messages. I ask him to complete a task, but I don't consistently follow through. Sometimes getting distracted is okay, other times I mean business and it's not. How is he supposed to know that "choose some toys" has a time limit when one day he's in the playroom for fifteen minutes "choosing toys" while I get ready (and am secretly thankful for his distraction) and the next day he's hearing me holler "come down" within three minutes?

What could be more important? <3
If I'm too busy to help him with things, I'm *too* busy and need to reassess our day. If something isn't important enough for me to stop what I'm doing to help him, it's not important enough for me to request of him.

This is a great example of unrealistic expectations, and I'm going to use this week to focus on making requests within his capabilities and consistently offering my physical presence and help when he needs it.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the gentle reminder. I think once I hit 3 kids, I tend to forget how overwhelming choices can be at times for them. I don't always connect correctly with their drive to help and have some responsibility vs being too vague in my requests and expectations.