Do your kids get equal attention?
“Bye mom,” my son mumbled as he shuffled over to the counter where I was measuring out insulin for our diabetic cat. I had just finished forcing the hyperthyroid medicine on her.
It was 6:30. I could hear my one of my boys’ alarms going off, as it had been for 15 minutes, and the third was sleeping in because he had a delayed start.
“Hold on a second, I didn’t put any snacks in your backpack.”
“Grab a protein bar and a water, and do you want some crackers, since you didn’t like the almonds so much?”
“No, a bar is fine. I have my presentation today…”
“Oh my gosh, honey! That’s right, and I never looked at your slides! I’m sorry!”
“That’s okay, Mom.”
“Well, I am sure they’re great!” (We had talked about them a little while I was doing dinner prep and he was working on them at the kitchen table the night before)…
…but that sounded lame. And I didn’t really think it was okay.
I followed him to the doorway where he was putting on his shoes. “Are they in Google drive? Text me your password and I’ll look at them.”
“Ehhhh. I don’t think that will work.” And even that was half-assed because I had already told him I didn’t want to just look at the slides myself when he told me I could make changes; I wanted to go over them with him. He was doing a Sociology project that was pretty cool – at least we had discussed the project even though I hadn’t looked at his slides.
My attention is fragmented
Spending time and energy on him was the most important part, regardless of the forum. We have been entertaining the idea about going to the gym together but haven’t done that yet. Sadly, since everyone is back in school and I am back to driving two hours a day to get one of his brothers to and from school, I have less time to juggle other things, like household stuff (including cooking for everyone, which I like the idea of and the part about sitting around together, but actually detest doing and can’t seem to get it done at a “normal” time), never mind my work. I feel like I spend a lot of time with 2/3 of my boys, but this one, not so much. He is the one that likes to isolate with the xBox or in his room when he comes home from school. How can I find a way to give him equal attention?
“Ok, well, what time is the presentation?”
“7:30. I have to do it in front of upperclassmen.”
“They won’t be paying attention, just do it for the teacher.”
“I’ll be praying for you.”
“Okay mom! I have to go!”
Good luck with the presentation
Earlier in the week I had gone to his school open house. I didn’t want to go because I was open-housed out, after having attended the other two’s, but that is precisely the reason I had to go, even though I’d be late. I missed his Sociology teacher so I caught up with her at the end, which was also when I ran into Mrs. Reynolds, who is my friend from more than 20 years ago!
She said she’d look out for my son and that she’d have his back.
I told her don’t embarrass him – he’s super shy – and whatever you do, don’t tell him anything about the old days! Ha ha ha!” (I laugh about it now but I’d hate to think of my kids behaving the way I did when I was their age, but this is a story for another day or maybe never.)
His teacher said they’d be in groups so she didn’t think it would be too taxing.
He reiterated when he got home it wasn’t that bad, although he was standing up there alone. Everyone else was in groups but him, because he didn’t know anyone in the class (they were all upperclassmen). I cringed inwardly at the thought of him presenting in a group of one. When I was his age, I was also super shy and I remember how awkward I felt during so much of my adolescence. The other thing we have in common is that we both blush easily, which only serves to compound the self-consciousness.
“Well, I’m glad you got it done!”
He wound up with a perfect grade
A week later he got his grade.
And we still haven’t managed to get to the gym together (though I am happy to report that I have been going). After his brother’s cross country meet, I had to serve dinner, walk the dogs, and take that same brother to hockey practice (and I blew off the supermarket) and my son didn’t want to go at 9:00 p.m., which is sometimes the only time I can find to get there. I’m going to keep trying to find ways to connect with him, though!
How do you give your kids equal attention? Does one of your kids get more or less attention than the other(s)?