"You're going to play with me, Daddy?"
My daughter's bath time is a great time to get things done. I love having an iPad because it's so mobile. I can sit on the bathroom floor and check my email, Facebook, and Twitter, catch up on blogs, play a few rounds of Words With Friends, and even read a chapter of a book. As a parent of a preschooler, I have come to realize that I don't get a lot of screen time; the little bugger wants to get her fingers all over my screen and keyboard. Bath time is the perfect time to get it all done.
My daughter is three. We adopted her from South Korea shortly before her first birthday. Naturally, she is going to have security issues all her life due to many things she can't help. I've been sick all summer. My summer break started with an ambulance ride to the hospital and a four-day visit. My illness has caused me to spend most of the summer laying or sitting. Until very recently, we have had sitters come in and take care of us when my wife works. It's been a rough summer, which has not helped my daughter's security issues to say the least.
This morning's bath time was more of the same. I read blogs. I played a round of WWF. I read a chapter in my book. I put the iPad down to scrub the little one down. "You're going to play with me, Daddy?"
How can any daddy resist that?!?
I grabbed a "microphone" and sang along with my little performer. We sang loud. We sang long. We sang badly. Most of the time we just made up songs on our own. Sometimes we sang real songs. Best of all, we sang together. I am nearly certain I heard these words. (She's in speech therapy at school; not every word comes out crystal clear.) "I love you so much. I love being with you alone." It melted my heart!
Ironically, one of the blogs I read while she was bathing was by John T. Spencer, who specializes in making me feel bad about teaching out of a textbook or doing anything that squelches a child's creativity. Being in his class must be a blast since he attempts to mix learning and play. He would have loved our little concert.
What's the moral of the story? Sometimes you just need to put the iPad down. Sometimes you have to stop doing what's so important to you. Sometimes you just have to pay attention to your kid (or the students in your room) and do what's important to them.
Sometimes you just gotta sing!