iPhone Parenting Fail: Ignoring My Daughter's Dream for a Text Message

4 years ago

I'm feeling sick to my stomach and so heart-heavy with guilt right now. And maybe this won't be a big deal to anyone else; it's three minutes out of my life, and sort of uneventful in the grand scheme of IRS scandals and HB 5 and whatnot dominating the news right now, but it was big to me. I'm going to be sick all day over it.

My seven-year-old, my sweet, vivacious little girl, still in pajamas with her wild bed hair, just came and found me in the kitchen where I was busily mixing some pancakes.

She proceeded to chatter about her weird dream she had about... and she named a long line of names, school friends, family members, something about a room full of people, a Mexican restaurant, and a flood of water and, well, I dunno, I wasn't listening...

...at which point my iPhone dinged again alerting me to a new text message. We were in the middle of a super important text conversation -- you know, gossiping about someone from church. It was pivotal. I focused my energies on the iPhone for a second, turning my back on Annie, and hit "send."

Credit: chodhound.

Then I realized... Annie has never once told me about a dream. This is the first time! I always ask her, "Did you have happy dreams?" and she has always answered, "I didn't have any dreams!"

But the story was 90% over and I missed most of it.

I missed it... the first dream she ever told me about.

Because of a stupid text message on an iPhone.

I asked her to tell me again, and made up some lame excuse about why I needed to hear it again, but she wouldn't. It was a one-time experience, getting to hear this dream, and I had missed it. The disappointment was evident on her face.

And she's not one of those "disappointed" kind of kids; she's a happy-go-lucky kid who smiles always and makes the most of every situation. Even being ignored by her mom.

I realized too late what I had done and asked again, "Annie. Please tell me your dream again!"

"Mom. No," she said, and went running off upstairs.

Oh, my heart was heavy.

I had to go find her. I went upstairs and got on my knees and told her what I had done. "Annie, I'm so sorry... you were telling me about your dream and I wasn't paying attention. I was so wrong to do that. I got a text and it distracted me and I didn't listen. Will you please forgive me?"

She smiled big and nodded yes. That's my girl, I thought.

"Will you tell me your dream again?"

She shook her head no.

And I understood. There are some moments in life you only get to experience once, and you can't go back and get a do-over.

Lesson learned.

The lesson being that my life is too dominated by a dumb phone.

And I have let it happen.

They say the first step is admitting you have a problem, and today, finally, I realize that my name is Melissa Taylor and I am an iPhone addict, and this is where it stops.

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