Two Christmases down, one to go. My family is today with Grandpa Bob Bob and Grandma Jean Jean. So over the river literally and on the slab (Tom’s reference to the highway leading to my parent’s community about 40 minutes away) we go. Having a day off in between Christmas Day and today was a necessary coincidence. After the excitement of Christmas Eve with Tom’s family and our own family Christmas, Sidney was able to unwind a bit. That is until she realized the next day she was seeing her cousin Finn.
This year she created gifts for everyone. I watched her making pictures out of all of her art supplies. When I was looking away, massive quantities of scotch tape were used in the construction of these masterpieces. I went to find some decorative fabric ribbon for Sunday School gifts. The new rolls I bought mysteriously went missing. One time around the wrapped package isn’t enough according to what I found later when it was too late. Double it up around the package. Note to self. Keep my eye on her craft supply intake.
This occasion is one of a couple over this particular holiday that I’ve had to maintain an extreme level of patience. She is on sensory overload. There is an official term for what she is doing, but Tom and I call it spinning. Flighty, from one activity to the next without much focus, cranky behavior, easier meltdowns. Eli on the other hand is in heaven. No amount of relaxation is enough. And when your aunt has supplied movies for gifts and a friend has given you candy for the class exchange, well that’s about all a boy needs. Factor in the cell phone received for a gift, and you have a recipe for a happy tween. I could go on for hours about all the discussions Tom and I had before making this purchase. Should we get him one? Should we wait? Is it really necessary? Can he continue to use my phone while we are gone despite the fact that it is inconvenient, because I can’t immediately email my clients back which I insist upon doing if at all possible. In the end, the practical decision was for him to have a phone.
My friend wrote a great contract for her son when he received his phone. It includes things like the phone being on the counter in the kitchen in the same spot by 9PM every night plugged in. Parents have ultimate control, meaning it can be taken away at any time. Having the phone is a privilege. In addition, we thought it completely unnecessary for him to have a smartphone. He has a tablet he earned a couple of summers ago working off the money for me doing chores. Tom and I discussed how frightening the internet truly can be, factoring in access anytime over a phone with a 12 year old. The phone and text is necessary in our daily lives. Internet access for a tween anytime is not.
Okay, time to start another day!