This past Monday was Family Day, which is a statutory holiday here in Ontario. The last couple of weeks have been a bit unusual, with PA days, teacher strikes, holidays: one day on, two days off, one day on, four days off. It’s been nice to have some time with Caleb, but also it’s been a challenge to keep up with the usual and unexpected things for the shop and laundry and groceries as well as to also keep Caleb on a good routine.

The shops are normally closed on a Monday in any case, but with Caleb off school for the holiday and the week ahead a bit tight with staffing, we went in to the main shop to pack up some online orders and futz around a little. We spilled some yoghurt, read some books, made some little paper books, packed some orders. Futzed around.

In any case, hope you all had a lovely holiday or just a lovely Monday.

In other news, I recently got a watch—this one except in gold— and I’m loving it. I haven’t worn a watch since I was a teacher, but recently I’ve been much more pressed to know the time (school pick-ups, after school activities). I’ve been using my phone or asking other people for the time or looking around at other screens.

Eventually it reached a boiling point because I‘ve been reading to Caleb and Naomi at night. I’ve historically read to the kids at various points during the day, and during the day things are a bit more hectic, someone’s break is needed, the phone is ringing, we’re about to head off to music class, and we’re all a bit more wired. We read in small sips and picture books and a few pages here or there.

But at night, everyone is clean(ish) and fed and everything is closed up for the day and we’re all here for one last journey into a book. Reading both exciting and boring parts is sort of a wayward time warp thing at night where you don’t really know what time it is, but bedtime does need to come eventually. I didn’t want to set a timer because it going on in the middle of a chapter would be the worst, and I like to be able to gauge if I should start a new chapter or if I should budget to read up to this section in the next ten minutes.

I don’t like looking at my phone while I’m with other people in general, but I hate everything about having to look at my phone while I’m reading to the kids: just having it around is a distraction: when it vibrates, everyone’s attention is drawn to it. Even when I am just checking the time, I can see I’ve lost the kids’ attention, the spell is broken and I have to corral everyone back. I tried to convince Jon to buy clocks for Caleb’s room as well as the living room as well as the upstairs bedroom but he balked and suggested I buy a watch.

So I did. And I’m loving it. One less reason to “need” my screen with me and it’s been great—reading with the kids, reading by myself, breakfast time, lunch time.

Oh, technology and that brain-changing need to be constantly plugged into all of its web. The effort and struggle of removing just one of its talons from my life. Heaven forfend I one day need to succumb to an Apple Watch, or a chip implanted in my forehead.


Currently reading: Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods
Currently reading with Caleb: The Witches by Roald Dahl
Latest weird dawning realization: A disproportionate number children’s books feature mice (Runaway Ralph, The Rescuers, Cricket in Times Square, The Witches, Stuart Little, Mrs. Frisby, Abel’s Island, Despereaux...)
Currently writing with: TWSBI Mini (TWSBI Blue), Lamy Vista (Diamine 1864 Blue Black), Franklin Christopher M20 (Sailor Jentle Blue-Black).
Latest analogue project: Gloriously beginning to dig out of my correspondence pile and sticking washi tape on everything (thank you to all the InCoWriMo writers who have gotten me out of my funk)

Related Posts

February 20, 2020 — wonderpens


Hali Tabobonduung

Hali Tabobonduung said:

Good day, Liz!

I loved reading this blog post, especially about recognizing the need to wriggle yourself a little freer from the smartphone. I finally kicked my “smart” phone to the curb over two years ago and have never looked back. (The novelty of the smartphone has long lost its hypnotic spell on me.) Since then, I have bought a Nokia 3310 phone and have been very happy with this dinosaur of a cell phone. I, too, love that my phone does not constantly pull my attention away from my time with loved ones – or. from whatever else I am trying to focus my attention on. Funnily enough, I have a clock in every room of my house, plus a wristwatch! Haha!!! There’s a lot to be said for keeping it real!

Have a great weekend!

Wasauksing First Nation


wonderpens said:

H.T., I knew we were kindred spirits.

I have actually contemplated a flip phone, but alas I use my iPhone to take photos for Instagram or the blog regularly. Perhaps indeed I should begin to look just a little bit harder for some other solutions. I often wonder about how minutes add up and how I would like to be spending my days, although my bigger worry is when Caleb gets to the age where he will be asking for some sort of screen to carry around with him in his pocket.

I will certainly be passing your message along to Jon though: he used some salty words to describe my original plan of buying half a dozen clocks to hang up around the house.

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.