We have a small stack of library books sitting in our living room. As soon as I heard that it might snow [again], I decided it was time to gather some more reading material, in case we were "shut in" for a few days.
So we did. I took the girls and we went to our small library, and we checked out some books.
That's when the question began. "Mommy, will you read me those library books?"
Rachel started asking, as soon as we'd walked in the door. But I had things to do. I had to feed Matthias, make dinner, clean up the house...
One thing turned into another, until it was the girls' bed time, and Rachel was saying, "You never read me those library books!"
I assured her that I would read them to her in the morning.
Then the morning came. Ahh, you know mornings--especially with three little ones. I thought surely after breakfast was over, there'd be some time to sit and read to the kids, but there was always something else that needed done. I would wash the dishes, and load the dishwasher, and then I'd see that the counters needed wiped. When I'd finished wiping the counters, I'd see that there were cornmeal muffin crumbs under Matthias's chair. When I'd finish wiping the floor, I'd walk past the trash can, and see that it was overflowing.
But if I'm going to be taking out the kitchen trash, I might as well gather the trash from all the trashcans around the house, right?
You run the risk of starting to sound like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie...
Finally, I realized that no matter what I did, there were always be one more thing. I sat down with all three kids, a snuggly blanket, and our stack of library books, and I started reading.
It felt so good.
It's not always cleaning the house that's the issue, though. It might be that your child asks, "Will you read to me?" while you're on the computer, or on your phone. I feel like once you're staring at that huge (or small) screen, you get sucked in. You're so focused on what's happening on your screen, that you forget what's happening right next to you.
"Just five more minutes."
Five minutes later...
"Sweetie, I'm almost done! This is really important!"
Well, maybe it is--and maybe it isn't quite as important as you think it is.
For the little girl (or boy) standing next to you, I really don't think it's about "reading a library book" as much as it is about actually being held, by Mom, for more than two minutes at a time.
Of course, sometimes you'll honestly just need to say, "Please wait," or "Not now," and the child will need to learn the important lesson of patience, but other times?
They don't need to learn patience. They just need you to hold them.
"Mommy, will you read to me?"
"Absolutely, kiddo. How about right now?!"