When dining out, the iPhone has become both a blessing and a curse; my husband and I get to have an uninterrupted grown-up conversation with complete sentences but my son withdraws into the world of gaming, oblivious to the skills of waiting patiently or entertaining himself. I love it and I hate it.
For times when when I feel like being a better parent, I carry a deck of cards in my purse. It’s the simplest thing but it works like a charm every time, passing the time before our food arrives with no begging or shenanigans or whining or spilling. We play Old Maid, Go Fish, War, Crazy 8’s and we’re working on Gin Rummy. It’s so simple and old fashioned, I can’t believe it works. And it shows me how much my kid really does prefer my company to his screens. It’s the epitome of quality time, is it not? And it’s in these moments that I really, really, really enjoy my family.