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If Only I Could Read His Thoughts

Robert Franklin

Posted on December 19, 2019 20:57

2 users

A working dad's musings on the dynamic between him and his toddler son.

I just spent the better part of an hour trying to get my son, S., to sleep. He's 15-months-old, and when it comes to "night-night," he will, more often than not, cry, wiggle, flail, and object every which way he knows how.

But he didn't do that tonight. No, tonight he just laid in my arms, in the dark, staring at me.

Now, S. can absolutely put himself to sleep, and if it were any other night, I probably would have just laid him in his crib, turned on his stars, given him his Pup-Pup, then sent him off to the land of milk and Mommies (since I'm convinced that's his happy place).

But seeing as today was a half-day at work, and he spent the afternoon with me to give his mom, M., a break, I think he and I both had some "aha!" moments that kind of helped put our lives, and relationship, in context.

All afternoon and evening, he and I were fairly out of sync. This makes sense, considering that I'm not always part of his routine, and S. is definitely a creature of habit.

When I wake, I have to get ready for work. In the amount of time it takes me to wake up, shower, get dressed, and gather the things I need for another day at the bank, S. and I have barely enough time to exchange pleasantries before I have to leave. I spend my whole day at the bank while S. pals around with M. He even goes to work with her.

By the time I get out of work and get home, it's usually less than an hour until S.'s bedtime. He and I might play for a little bit, but most of the hour-and-a-half or so between getting home and going to bed is the Herculean labor of getting him to eat, trying to keep the little man as wriggle-free as possible while getting him ready for bed, and then finally putting him down for the night.

This is pretty much how it goes almost every day of every week.

S. and I don't have the same relationship he has with M. He sees her far more than he sees me, and I think S. is feeling the ramifications of that. He and I play whenever we can, so every moment we spend together, as far as S. is concerned, should be playing with blocks or wrestling or doing whatever may be fun for him.

I wonder if he thinks he needs to play as much as possible, because he knows Dada is going to have to leave again soon. His drive to play, above anything else I may need to do with him or for him, feels desperate, like he doesn't know when the next time he'll be able to play with me will be.

It breaks my heart to think that thought ever crosses his mind.

Robert Franklin

Posted on December 19, 2019 20:57

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Source: BBC

Can tech help busy working parents keep tabs on their toddlers or does it simply make them feel more guilty and paranoid?

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