Unconditional Love for 30 Minutes

My “me” time arrives first thing in the morning. It is my least favorite time of day because it is compromised by my exercise routine. The day starts off completely ideal if I can get my workout over with, drink a cup of coffee and call and chat with my mom before I hear…

“Mom?" (as in, “Where are you? I’m up.”) from my six year old son.

We’ve had about a month out of sorts, with two mini vacations and a week-long one in California. My son watched Netflix on the iPad; anything that would keep him entertained, while I did other things to prepare for our travels, was fine by me.


Returning from the west coast to the east, I could not snap back into my morning routine. While I’m still in the bed he calls out…

“Mom, can I have the iPad?”

“Yeah” I groan and rollover. He comes into my room to get it from its charging place and retreats back to his room to watch something on Netflix.

A day that I get up after him just doesn’t work. The flow never gets right. He’s wondering what he can have to eat, while I exercise. I keep clicking pause in my workout routine; seemingly never working up a real sweat while losing momentum by the millisecond. By the time I get the monkey wrench turning in the right direction, the day is half over.

So when I’m finally able to wake up and start my day on east coast time, I’ve exercised, showered, had my coffee and talked to mom by the time he wakes up. I have renewed energy and he has no idea what’s coming.

“Morning mom, can I have the iPad?”
“Nope”. “Go make your bed, brush your teeth, wash your face and come back to eat”.

When he returns and finds out he still cannot have the iPad, there’s a groan. He’s not hungry now; his belly hurts, so he doesn’t want to do anything but relax. I have an Ace to play. I remind him of his swimming lessons that start again this evening. I tell him I hope he’ll feel better for that. He perks up then.

We have a busy day of learning. I know I’m a hard teacher. My patience is wearing thin when I ask him to read and he says “down” for the word “bone”. I think, REALLY? You know this! I feel like I need a break before I hurt his feelings. Throughout the day there are several breaks and tears shed. I recall when I learned to read, I was already in first grade, having a hard time. Often my eyes would be filled to the brim with tears where I couldn’t read the words on the page. Though I could feel his loathing towards me, I have no sympathy for my child. We press on with shoe tying lessons, address and phone number drills and more reading. Even after returning from swim lessons we continue; drilling one last time before bed.

He successfully ties his shoes without pulling the bunny ear through too far and recites our address and phone number without transposing numbers. "One last thing", I say. I proceed to type on the computer as he reads, “You did a good job. You can go get a drink and you can have the iPad for 30 minutes”. He responds…


No doubt he learned this unconditional term of endearment from something he watched on Netflix.

Sporadically Yours,