I was sitting in the lounge area, waiting for my car to be washed when two moms walked in, each with a little boy. The children were about 3 years old. I could sense that a nugget was quickly developing.
One mom was engaged in conversation with her child, explaining what they were experiencing and answering his questions. This particular car wash has its wait area set up with a child’s corner, filled with toys. There is an adult area, overflowing with cute items to purchase and a man at a counter, buying and selling gold.
And then there was my little corner; with comfortable chairs and a tv set… There was also a great big window where they watched the cars go through the conveyer belt as they were bathed and lathered. So much to see; so much to talk about!
The second mom directed her child to the play area and told him to be a ‘good boy.’ She sat down next to me and immediately focused on her phone. I don’t know if she was texting or playing with an app but she was very intent on that device. Several times the little boy called to her, “Ready mommy?” When she didn’t respond he continued to play by himself. After a few more attempts he came over to her, pulled on her arm and said, “you, me, mommy.”
A few minutes later both moms and little boys went outside to watch the line of cars come off the conveyer belt and get wiped and polished by the outdoor crew. I followed soon after. By the time I sat down in the outdoor holding area the boys were playing cars with each other and the moms were chatting. The mom who had been busy on her cell phone was expressing amazement at the other child’s vocabulary.
“He has so many words.” she observed. “He speaks like a little man.” she exclaimed. “Yes.” said the first mom. “He has so much to say.”
Even as the children played, the first mom naturally engaged with her son. The second mom spoke only to say, “Be nice. Share your car.”
Two moms. Two boys.
I sensed love and caring from both moms. Loving our children is rarely the issue. Knowing how to ‘be’ with them, how to communicate, how to get into their world and enjoy getting to know who they are is one of ‘the issues’.
I know this for sure. The first thing that second mom needs to do to bond with her son and begin building his vocabulary is to put her phone away.
Both of these children participated in going to the same car wash with their mommy. Each had a different experience.