"Instead I held you" | Toddling Through the Silicon Valley | Cheryl Bac | Palo Alto Online |

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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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"Instead I held you"

Uploaded: Sep 25, 2017
There is a beautiful post that I frequently see online. "Instead I held you" is about a parent choosing to hold their little one instead of cleaning, answering emails, etc.

Although my days of holding a newborn for hours on the couch are probably over, the post's message still rings very true. Take a moment to be present. Take a moment for yourself and see how much your small child has grown over the past week, month or year.

With three kids, I am constantly interrupted during the day. Baby needs to be nursed or changed. Our middle child wants a snack. Our oldest needs help finding a pair of scissors or a Lego piece. More often than I would like, I stop holding, playing with or reading to one child in order to help another or to break up a disagreement. Or I need to multitask so we can eat lunch before a class or get to bed on time.

Last night, after our baby fell asleep, my two older kids asked me to read a chapter book to them. Not surprisingly, our middle child fell asleep after only a few chapters. I savored the time reading aloud to my oldest child while his sisters slept soundly. I was able to read him the book cover to cover without any interruptions. That uninterrupted time when I could just be present with our son for an extended period of time is exactly what I needed. Everything else could wait.
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Comments

 +   5 people like this
Posted by Judy, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown,
on Sep 25, 2017 at 6:41 pm

How about putting down your smart phone. Everyday I see parents with children in parks, restaurants, etc. totally ignoring their children while focused on their phone. When you're out with your kids, put your phone away.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Sep 25, 2017 at 8:20 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Judy - Your comment reminded me of Look Up (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7dLU6fk9QY), another reminder to be present. Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Mother of 4, a resident of Palo Verde School,
on Sep 26, 2017 at 3:04 pm

I agree with the above poster and smart phones. At the park or similar ours are used just for urgent phone use or to take pictures like a camera. Posting the pictures or sending them to grandparents are done at home. While at the park, dig in the sand, chase the birds, with the kids and be part of the fun.

My other comment is that in our family a chapter book - regardless of how long the chapters or the book, is a chapter a night before bed. The kids love to hear their chapter and then perhaps chat and guess what may happen next as they get ready for bed. They then look forward to finding out if they are right and what happens next the following night. We have several series of books about the same characters so that we can read their different adventures at night time. Anticipation and getting to know the various personalities over time is a plus.

Sadly, many newer books for young children are no longer written in chapter form or with several books in the series, designed for reading over a period of days.

We also enjoy reading books by the original authors rather than the Disney version. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, Paddington Bear and the Mary Poppins books are good examples.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Sep 28, 2017 at 7:59 am

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mother of 4 - Thanks for sharing your thoughts about cellphone use at the park. Personally, when I share photos with my husband, my parents, etc, I tend to do it in the moment. Our kids sometimes help me figure out which photo to send and what to type. It's fun to share the moment with loved ones who aren't close by. And, who knows, maybe they'll even text or email back moments later.

And thanks for sharing how your family enjoys chapter books. Sounds like a much enjoyed part of your bedtime routine.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by phonies, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Sep 29, 2017 at 4:20 pm

why don't they call them ''sell phones'' .its all about money.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Sep 30, 2017 at 2:46 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Phonies - Thanks for the play on words


 +   2 people like this
Posted by PaloAltoParentUnplugged, a resident of Midtown,
on Oct 2, 2017 at 2:13 pm

I also believe an aunt or uncle can do wonders in holding our children when times are extremely tough and uncertain. Even when my sister was staying with me during a sorrow-filled week of searching for her only child found the reserve in her heart and share love to read to my two sons at night - through all of our worry and anxiety of not finding her only child wayward and alone - I shared my children with her a small miracle of mine for her within much larger, tragic ending for all of us.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by PAPUClarifications, a resident of Midtown,
on Oct 2, 2017 at 2:19 pm

I also believe an aunt or uncle can do wonders in holding our children when times are extremely tough and uncertain. Even when my sister was staying with me during a sorrow-filled week of searching for her only child, found the reserve in her heart to share the love and read to my two sons at bedtime - through all of our worry and anxiety when not finding her only child who was wayward and alone - I shared my children with her. The familial miracle of holding children - all within a much larger, tragic ending for her son and now, a lifelong heartbreak in all of us.


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