“Mum, can I go into the sandpit?”
Hurrah! Music to my tired ears, after an hour following him around slides and swings and zip-lines and rope bridges.
I’ll just sit on the side here and keep an eye on him in case he throws sand or walks off to try something else.
I might just check my phone in case I have any messages.
I might just click into Facebook for a second.
Actually maybe I’ll put a picture on Instagram. That’s a good use of time. Right, I’ll get a photo of me at a sandpit having a break while he plays in the sand.
Having a break – that’s exactly what this is. And I’ve earned this break. He’s been on everything – the zip-line, all the slides, the really high up rope bridge – with me hovering nervously below, hoping he won’t try to climb up the sides.
Actually good point, my nerves need a break too.
Hmm, why do I feel like I’m trying to justify this break to myself? Parents need me-time too. If this was a job, I’d be due a break by now. And it kind of is a job.
Wait, does that make being a parent sound like being a babysitter? Maybe I’m focusing too much on the minding element of things, and not enough on actually enjoying the fun stuff?
Do I do this every day? Do I always see it as minding them?
Oh god, what is the actual point of having children if I’m seeing myself as a babysitter. I should be having fun with him. ALL. THE. TIME.
Maybe I should get into the sandpit with him.
Although then, is that helicopter parenting – is it too much? Would I be impeding his creativity if I help him with his digging?
I’ll stay here.
It’s the right thing to do.
Hmm, isn’t it convenient that the end result of my internal debate is that I should keep sitting on the side of the sandpit looking at my phone.
Then again, sometimes the truth can be convenient and still be the truth.
Note: if nobody else has ever had an internal conversation like this, I reserve the right to say it’s a huge exaggeration or didn’t happen at all.