In an almost unconscious habit whenever I have a short moment of free time in between tasks, I took the brief respite to pull out my phone and check my mail. 60 seconds later after reading a couple messages and deleting a few more, I looked up from the screen to see that Margot had stopped playing and was staring at me. “This is how it begins,” I thought. I’m showing her my screen deserves my attention at the moment more than she does.
My wife and I went through the same struggle, we still go through it daily, and I suspect that most parents are going through this too. Sure, when you are dating someone you keep your phone stashed, but back then phones also did less. And then you get married and, well, you are both on your phone watching TV and eating ice cream (like any good American). And then you have a kid and the habit of checking your phone is so much a part of your flow, that you don’t notice when you do it.
And then you look up.
And there’s your daughter, staring at you, not playing — just looking. It makes my heart sink a bit every time.
Then my daughter strides over, grabs my phone, unlocks it, and starts tapping on stuff. “Nooo, not that one…”1
True story, I had to set my iOS devices to require pass codes immediately. ↩