Toddler and I have established this wonderful Monday tradition. After I pick her up from Preschool, we go to Whole Foods (or "the really cool grocery store" as she calls it). First, we grab lunch from the various salad bars. And then we find a little table for two. And we eat. And talk about the day.
Toddler tells me about important things. Who cried that day at school. And why. What she had for snack. What library book she picked. What songs she sang. What pictures she painted. And then we talk about all the things we need to get at the store. She always remembers Daddy's yogurts. Always. Our conversation goes on and on, interrupted only by delicious fits of giggles or if she suddenly encounters a rogue veggie in her rice. When she does, she feeds it to me.
And then. Once we've finished lunch, we find a grocery cart. I plop my girl in the little seat thing I used to love riding in. And we wander aimlessly through the vast aisles. Toddler helps me bag oranges and avocados.
In any event, you get the picture. On Mondays, Toddler and Mommy go on a lunch/grocery shopping adventure. And it's simple and splendid fun.
But a few weeks ago, something happened on one of these adventures. Something that has stuck with me. We were in the dairy section. Like I too often do, I reached for my phone to check my email. I hit the appropriate little button. But the screen stayed black.
"Oh no," I said.
"What happened, Mommy? What happened?"
Now Toddler was very concerned. I told her that my phone wasn't working. And then I told her we had to leave the grocery store. Because there was something wrong with my phone.
There is something wrong with this picture. Very wrong. There I was, on a marvelous mundane adventure with my little creature, and my mood was blackened by a blackened screen.
We finished our shopping in haste, paid, and made our way home. I left Toddler with Nanny and ran to the phone store. The nice lady behind the desk rebooted my phone. And everything was fine.
But you know what is not fine? Being so attached to one's cell phone that losing its function for one hour is cataclysmic. Being so tethered to technology that one feels completely naked without it. Being so reliant on a certain little gadget that one worries a certain little girl.
Today. Today is another Monday. Another chance. I will gather Toddler from Preschool. Hand-in-hand, we will walk to the really cool grocery store. We will pick our predictable lunches and find our table. We will sit across from each other. And talk. And then we will grab a cart and do our thing. We will stock up on Daddy's yogurts and Toddler's favorite mac & cheese. My sweet little girl will beg me for yet another environmentally-friendly (and astronomically-expensive) sippy-cup and I will cave and buy it for her. We will have a grand old time.
And this time. This time, my focus will be sharp and steady. Cast right where it belongs. On the bright blue eyes and important words of a tiny person I love.
My phone? It will be buried in my bag. And off. Off.
And this will be hard for me. Because I like to be plugged in.
But this will be good for me. Because I like to be plugged in.
Sometimes our phones aren't the only things that need a reboot. Sometimes our priorities do.
Are you exceedingly attached to your technological toys too? Have you ever lost or broken these toys and felt lost? Do you think that mobile devices facilitate, or interfere with, parenting or personal relationships? Do you ever feel like your priorities need a reboot? Do you ever go on adventures to the grocery store?