I am Totally Paying Attention to You.

#5 was looming.

I don’t mean he was sulking and brooding in the corner; I mean he had the Rainbow Loom and assorted bands spread out all across the dining room table.

His sudden reinterest in the Loom was, unsurprisingly, spurred by an argument. A little girl came to visit: our babysitter’s niece, age 3. She spent most of Saturday at our house and as it turns out is just as inquisitive and stubborn as #5. At the babysitter’s suggestion, they played with the Loom and found themselves at odds over many things: namely, the right way to do it, and whether maroon should be referred to as “red”, “pink”, or “purple”. He rehashed so many of their arguments for me that I could tell he is smitten. I fully expect them to marry.

Sunday morning all the supplies were still out on the table. #5 ran in through the door after Sunday school and went right to it.

There is an internal law in a kid’s mind that says unless someone witnesses every step of what they are doing, it didn’t happen. I am often called to witness. At times this witnessing is a mutually enjoyable experience; this was not one of those times.

This was one of those times where I didn’t care about the damn Rainbow Loom and I could tell he wasn’t listening to me anyway and would have been just as happy with the dog as a witness. All morning he kept dragging me away from what I was trying to finish, making me watch something that to my eye looked exactly like what he had shown me five minutes before, and would then run right over anything I attempted to say in response with his own internal, out-loud monologue. This is when I would walk away, invariably to be pulled back several minutes later.

I did, finally, get his attention.

#5: Look! Look!

Me: What.

#5: I’m inventing a new weave!

Me: Cool.

#5: Do you know what this design is going to be?

Me: What.

#5: Awesome, that’s what.

Me: Nice.

#5: Man, I hope this holds together when I pull it off the loom.

Me: Man, me too. Otherwise you’re just a complete and utter, abject failure.

#5 looked up with his mouth open to find me smiling. I could see him working through how to respond, first thinking you’re not allowed to say that! followed by an immediate realization of who he was actually talking to. He and the two sisters in the room all laughed at the same time.

#5: Oh my God. I can’t believe you said that.

Me: I can’t believe you finally listened to me.

He carried on looming.

Me: Hey, let me know how that works out for you, okay?

Despite all that, I would like to report I am now the proud owner of two new bracelets (of a traditional weave).

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How do you get your kids’ attention?

 

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4 thoughts on “I am Totally Paying Attention to You.

  1. My girlfriend comes over to dinner once a week just to see what we will say to the kids. Apparently what we do is something like antiparenting. The most effective has been creating a mad competition for A+s to hang on the fridge – only one at a time, so it’s become a frantic dash to “bump” or “knock” someone off, complete with bragging rights, mild insults, and the mythical status as “Daddy’s favorite” (which translates to NOT being at risk of being sold for gas or grocery money). I assume they all know this is just all in good fun…

  2. That was a great response! I’ll have to remember that! I have been through the Rainbow Loom hell, and feel your pain. Maybe you should ask him just to video himself doing it, and tell him you will watch it later…

Comment. It gives me a reason not to clean my house.

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