Competition Is Tough
I called my granddaughter (age 4) to talk with her about preschool and her activities. I could hear the TV in the background, her brother yelling and some noisy toy. As I struggled to understand what Angela was saying and repeating my questions several times, I realized I was talking to a "multitasking midget." She was, in essence, mimicking her mother's behavior, which I know only so well. Talking on the phone meant time to work on the computer, start supper and clean out a kitchen drawer.
After hanging up, I decided to declare an ultimatum to my children and their children. From now on I would have a dedicated time to call when my grandchild would be on the couch (with no TV and no one else in the room). I could break this multitasking cycle before it became a life pattern as it had with my daughter.
I called my daughter to discuss my new plan. Unexpectedly, my daughter began to howl and proceeded to tell me that I was the master of multitasking and that is where she learned it. OK, I said, but we don't have to perpetuate it.
The following week I called Angela at my designated time. After a minute or two my sweet granddaughter came on the phone and said, "Hi GG, I'm doing a puzzle on the computer, and I am really good. I miss you and love you. Bye bye," and proceeded to hang up.
Well, I thought, so much for that plan. I not only have to compete with the environmental distractions but now the electronic wizard that has made its way into her life. I cannot compete with that -- guess I'll have to revert to e-mail.
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