We’ve heard it since we were kids. “Kid’s have such short attention spans these days!” and I suppose it’s true. Kid’s do, partially because things happen faster these days and partially cause they are, you know, kids.
But lest you worry that your kids will have the span of a fruit fly I want to reassure you with 5 things that prove kids attention spans are just fine.
1. Take a hot shower. Go ahead, try it. Say you have reached that third day of no shower as moms sometimes do, and the kids have snacks and seem interested in an interminable episode of Dino Dan so you think I’ll just sneak of for a quick shower! Mere moments after the hot water hits your skin you will hear them at the door Bang! Bang! Mommy! MOMMYMOMMYMOMMYMOMMY! And they will keep at it as long as you are in there. Now, don’t make the rookie move and get right out to attend to them. No, no. As long as they are banging on the door you know right where they are and what they are up too, this means they are safe. So listen young Padawan, now is the time to practice your mom ninja skills! With concentration the constant banging and mommymommymommy can be as relaxing as an Enya CD.
2. Food Struggles. I am not a member of the clean your plate club. Personally I believe that kids should be able to know when they are hungry and eat or not and don’t. So if my little ones only have a bit at dinner or scarf the whole plate- that’s fine with me! Plus sometimes kids just live on air. However there does a come a time, after several days of your toddler living on 4 goldfish crackers and half a sippie cup of milk when you have to insist that they eat something. Anything. A cheese stick. A Go-gurt. A slice of pizza, just ANYTHING. Because no one is hangry like a hangry toddler. (except possibly my husband, but that’s another blog post) So you insist they eat, they are going to sit at the table until they eat whatever it is. And they will, with single minded dogged determination refuse to eat that cheese stick. For an hour. Maybe two. No tv, no book, no distraction. They will just sit there refusing. Until you win. Because moms always win.
3. Bedtime avoidance. Sleep is so awesome, why do kids hate it so? I love sleep. We should all sleep. But little ones just want to be awake and nothing will make a kid slow down and pay close attention to a book than knowing that there is just one more until we turn out the lights and go to sleep. Personally I love this tactic of theirs…unless it’s Thursday and Scandal is on. Or Sunday and Downton or Walking Dead is on. But other than those two evenings, I love this. Because babies grow so fast, the time they want to snuggle and read the Tawny Scrawny Lion just one more time is fleeting. So snuggle down little one. I’ve got time and I know this book by heart, which means I can stare at your beautiful lashes slow blinking as you try to fight the inevitable.
4. Toy Search. 90% percent of the mess making in our house is taking out 500 toys just to find the one that they really want. And while this does create work for me (and them as they get older and we work on them cleaning up more and more after themselves) they can focus like no one’s business on finding that exact right Lightning McQueen or guitar or whatever it is. And we have 5 million Lightning McQueens, trust me. The focus on finding said toy is intense and singular, and they will take as long as needs be to find that one specific toy.
5. Three words: Disney Toy Collector. I am not sure what magical hold this woman possesses over our children. Really is watching neatly manicured hands opening toys while a slightly cloying voice narrates every move THAT interesting? Apparently the answer is yes. I am quite certain that at some point she will speak some trigger word or phrase and activate all our young to serve in her kid army obeying her as their Supreme Overload. Plus she made like 5 million bucks opening toys on youtube so eff her. The only time her voice will not keep your children glued to the seat is in the event you do sneak off to try #1, a hot shower.
But never fear, as they bang on the door and you take your time to shave your legs, think that you really are teaching your children that patience and perseverance will eventually pay off. As in eventually you’ll get out of the shower and put Disney Toy Collector back on their iPads.