Projects, Parenting & Spray Bottles, Part Four
ZOELAB DAY 91
Original Date of Post: November 30, 2012
Anytime my activity at hand is seen by Emilio, not as something getting in the the way of my attention towards him, but rather something he can be part of, is a step in the right direction. It means that I can have a life other than being his mom that he can witness. It makes our relationship more mutual. This is a natural phase of development, when the child is no longer only interested in the parent entering his world, but when he wants to enter the parent’s world. I think it’s important, especially for a preschool kid (in this case preschool really means at home, not yet in school) to see that his mommy has a life other than him. For the first time as a Mom, I am allowing more of the other parts of my self into my relationship with Emilio.
That being said, there are still many daily activities that I can do only when Emilio is asleep or away.
All Alone Activities
I don’t think I have the ability to concentrate on reading in his presence. For this reason, I don’t read as much as I’d like. But I should give it another try. I certainly read him books all the time. Sometimes I try to make it fun for myself by thinking the reading as an acting role or by allowing myself to get lost in the world the illustrations create. For this reason, I try hard to find books for Emilio that I love to look at too. That way I am getting to have an aesthetically inspiring experience while reading to him.
If I attempt to work on my computer in his presence, he will immediately zone in on my computer, want to sit on my lap and ask to type, click on random images on the screen with the cursor, or ask to watch something. (He used to hum and haw and beat around the bush for a few minutes (Mamma, how’s your ipod doing? orA movie would be really fun, do you like movies?” before asking. Now he just cuts to the chase: “Mamma, I’m angling to watch a movie.”) But, if I am writing in my journal or writing notes on random scraps of paper, he will grab a pen and a piece of paper and say that he is writing a list or notes too. He creates his own version of writing.
Since he was a baby Emilio protests dramatically every time I pick my guitar. I think it has something to do with where it’s placed on my body--I imagine he sees the guitar as a block between him and me. And he’s right, in a way. I really hope this will change some day, as it means that the only time that I can feel free to play guitar is at night. It’s the same with singing. Since he was a baby, I sang Emilio Summertime before he went to sleep until one day when he yelled in protest when I tried to sing him a lullaby. He no longer wants to tolerate my singing--which is not so easy for me to take as singing both my deepest expression and insecurity. There of course are some exceptions, and Emilio and I have made music together on a few rare occasions. One time we made up a song together that I recorded--see I’m a rock-n-roll thing. There was a brief period when we had “family band” practice. Me on guitar, Emilio on drums, and Lucas on recorder.
I suppose the lesson in this is to be willing to compromise a little: to find ways to include Emilio in what I’m doing so that it’s fun and satisfying for both of us.