Dan Soderberg wants to foster imaginative play in his son, even if it means allowing a bit of self-absorbion
My wife was sitting on the sofa attempting to have a phone conversation with her dad when our six year old son approached, “Mommy, come down the basement. I have a surprise for you.”
She held up her index finger and continued her conversation.
He tried again, “Mommy, I have a surprise for you.”
I interjected, “Greyson, Mommy’s on the phone. She’ll come down when she’s finished talking.”
Undaunted, he made another attempt, “Mommy, come down the basement.”
She finally responded, “Buddy, I’m talking to Grandpa.”
“But I have something I want to show you.”
Again he gets the index finger.
It’s become a regular occurrence in our home, and probably yours too. The constant interruptions are simultaneously infuriating and delightful. We’ve literally asked the kids, 6 and 3, about a thousand times not to interrupt us when we’re having an adult conversation. Our ability to string together more than three coherent sentences at a time has deteriorated over the years of parenthood to the point that my wife and I now generally communicate in a series of clicks and grunts like some African tribesman. Raised eyebrows, finger pointing, and furious head shaking also have a prominent place in our new parental body language. When we actually get on a roll and have a real conversation going one of the kids inevitably interrupts. It’s maddening, and usually kind of adorable, which only add to the frustration.
I remember doing the same thing to my parents, “Ma! Ma! Ma! Hey, Ma!”
I get it now. I was a self-absorbed little snot, and now my 6-year-old son is one too. He’s delightfully self-absorbed.
Now that he’s in Kindergarten he’s learning new things at a furious pace. There aren’t enough hours in the day to satisfy all of his new endeavors. He’s reading, doing math, writing stories, and mastering Angry Birds Star Wars. You could drive a dump truck through our living room while he’s playing Angry Birds and he wouldn’t flinch. And oh yeah, he’s proud as a mofo of his accomplishments. He’s absolutely thrilled with himself, and deservedly so.
In the exchange at the beginning of this post he was trying to get his mom’s attention to show her a “surprise” he had waiting for her in the basement. What was the surprise? Let’s just say there’s no truth in advertising.
He had made a race car out of various toys, blankets and pieces of furniture. It was creative and he was endlessly pleased with his creation, but it was definitely not for his mom. We were excited for him because he was full of pride. The actual race car was secondary. He had no idea that the race car was a much bigger deal to him than to anyone else in the house, and I love it. We’ll deal with the shortened conversations and interrupted phone calls and continue to do our best to foster his creativity, sense of wonder, and imagination.
Originally posted on DadsTimeOut.tumblr.com