Distracted Parenting

It turns out that my dislike of exams is genetic, and I’ve passed it down to my son. Because we share this trait, one would think I could find it in my heart to excuse him for being vanished on the afternoon before his first big test.  I cannot.

So I prowl our neighborhood, whistling as for a lost dog, checking all the usual haunts — the soccer fields, friends’ houses.  In a rare moment of optimism, I peek in the library. No kid.  All the while, my frustration builds in a way I know will be counterproductive. I catch myself composing a loud lecture in my head.

I think:

Wait.  No.  Loud lecture, bad.  Ugh.  Patience.  Patience is key. Need to learn patience, NOW! Today, before I ding my deal with with my tween. Ah! New Year’s Resolution.  Boom. Done.  Moving on. Patience in 2011.

Hold on. Maybe there’s an app; maybe a webinar I could download? Why is the internet so slow here? Westlake. Oh look, new email.  I’ll learn patience right after this text.

Focus.  Patience. I’ll get a self-help audiobook on patience that I play in the car.  But I can’t play it when the kids are in the car. Note: get car inspected. Plus, must listen to NPR on the commute to avoid becoming total cretin. Maybe after dropping Riley at soccer before I pick up her dinner at the sub shop. Mmmm. Subs.

Or maybe I could find some weekend time for patience acquisition.  Maybe while I’m out for a run.  I can work on my split times and be patient at the same time.  Note: remember to land on the mid-foot. Yoga would make me more patient. Take up yoga and listen to my patience webinar while in downward dog.

It’s about then that it dawns on me that I have systematically burned patience out of my nervous system like a virus. A digital virus, of course. For a moment I was nostalgic about boredom, and the though flashed that I might be a better parent if I was more often bored.

Then my phone rang.