And thank God I bought myself an oven timer in the nick of time.
These days (ie today and yesterday) I'm limiting my own facebook time. I round the clock to 30 min and can't check anything online til the buzzer goes buzz. Cool huh. Small step but a goodie!
So yesterday I turned that buzzer on and sat outside with Belle's for an afternoon tea. And I looked at her. Up close and personal. Beautiful. Lovely.
I haven't done that in so so so long. She kept grinning coz she was wondering what on earth I was doing out there with her. I was twitching and wondering what was happening online. So I counted her freckles. One by one. And the tension from my shoulders dropped and I smiled with her.
So why don't I do it all the time?
My guess is that it's all about hiding away. The problem with having 3 (and I'm guessing this is the same whether you have 1, 3 or 7) is that it tends to be quite a bit like herding cats. You scream. They run. In the opposite direction.
And you want to run too. Right over to the computer screen. It's safe there. You type, people listen. People type, you listen. Such a civilised way of communicating.
But lately facebook and cyberland has started to wedge its fat cyber butt right in the middle of my non cyber life. Need to race out the door? Oh just let me check email quickly. You want to play? Oh can i just catch up on facebook first. Need dinner? Here, here is some weetbix coz there is some very very important chat going on on some forum somewhere.
The wedge is deepening as facebook extends to links, as links extend to google, as google extends to blogs, as blogs extend to online articles, as online articles extend to twitter, as twitter sends you back to facebook. A cyber merry go round and round and round and round. And before you know it's a new day and you only have 3 hrs sleep left before the chaos of the morning begins - round about the same time REM sleep was just about to kick in. But your attentions are a bit wiped. You exhausted them in the wee hours in front of that civilised screen.
And it's not just cyberland. We lost connection on the computer for a week once and after initially calling the doc for some panic pills I soon realised that I didn't actually care. I just exchanged one screen for the next and discovered Greys Anatomy and a couple of other shows I've since forgotten. Same thing happened when my phone fizzled a couple of weeks ago. I just didn't care. Like chocolate. Don't need it. Love it, but don't necessarily want to gorge myself on it. Til someone drops off a box of Ferraro Rochers and I gorge plus. And then I realise I overloaded. But damage is already done...yep, same same.
These days I am noticing a direct correlation between my improving typing skills and my deproving (I know it's not a real word) parenting skills. My middle sons way of having fun with mum? Crawl in to my lap as I type away and sit quietly til I'm finished 2 hrs later (he is such a people pleaser that one). My daughter has given up and just hands me the Play School DVD with a flick of the hand and a roll of the eyes. My youngest just belts me from behind, but he's my third so I just ignore him, coz he's used to that.
I miss them. I miss watching them. I miss talking to them whilst they still want to do that (I rekon those days are numbered). I miss them lying on my belly and staring at me like I might just be the most magical person on the planet and they may just want to marry me themselves one day.
Most of all I just miss looking at them. Their skin, their dimples, their button noses. The freckles that pop up just when you're not looking.
Freckles. In the sun. That's all it took.
So less facebook time for me. I'll parent more and I'll blog more (that's for you Em). The rest of cyberland I'll still see you around, just a little less.