In the spring as we went on a few road trips and enjoyed more time sitting outside in nice weather, I took to telling Sterling I couldn’t help him right that moment with this or that because I wanted to enjoy the scenery/the drive/the sunshine/whatever. I must have said it often enough that he made a connection between Mom Enjoying Stuff and Mom Ignoring Sterling. The next time I said I was enjoying something, Sterling sighed and said:
“Mama, I don’t like it when you enjoy.”
Parenting pro-tip: your kids will not like it when you Enjoy. Not for years, anyway. Notice how Sterling didn’t use an object with Enjoy, even though it requires one in English. Because it wasn’t important to him just what I was Enjoying, only that I was Enjoying.
And that’s how we learn to eat ice cream in the closet and take an extra long shower behind a locked door in the bathroom and turn book pages quietly so they don’t alert a sleeping or happy child to the fact that we are Enjoying.