I was sitting next to a mom in a waiting room recently, watching her ignore her 2-year-old child.
Like me, she was waiting for her older children to finish up their lessons. Like me, she had brought her Ipad. And like me, she probably hates to waste time sitting around and doing “nothing.”
The two-year-old asked her for some water. She replied (without looking up), “Wait until after the lessons.” Her daughter continued to ask, and the mother continued to ignore, fixated on the screen in front of her.
Next, the daughter asked to go to the bathroom. After rolling her eyes and huffing and puffing, the mother finally put down her Ipad and escorted her daughter to the bathroom.
She was back in two minutes. Online again.
When her older son (who looked about 5 years old) was finished with his lesson, the mother barely looked up. He started to help himself to a tray of donuts on the table next to us, when she snapped.
“Don’t touch those. Sometimes, I can’t believe you! I’m tired of you not listening!”
She announced they were leaving, dragging him out by the hood of his coat. The 2-year-old followed behind.
I started to feel badly for these children. I even started to judge their mother. Some parents are so obsessed with themselves. How can a mother ignore her own children and act like they are a complete bother?
Then I looked down at my Ipad.
How many times have I said to my kids, “Not, now, wait until I finish this email?” Or how many times have I nodded my head and pretended to listen when my eyes (and my attention) are focused on a screen in front of me?
Yesterday, I read a thoughtful post from Michelle DeRusha who is giving up multi-tasking for Lent! No, I’m no ready to go there yet. But it did make me wonder.
Does anyone really get my undivided attention these days?