This evening I was babysitting the children that I love dearly. As their bedtime loomed, I thought one thing to myself: thank God, time to myself, and my phone. I would be blatantly lying to you if I said I’ve never told a white lie about the time to put them under the covers sooner so I can resume my iPhone fun and television watching uninterrupted. There’s the first telltale sign of addiction. I’m not saying time to yourself is bad, never at all. But when time to yourself becomes time to yourself plus your phone, that’s when I get worried. All the children were in bed and I sat down with tea and my favourite little device, and no sooner than I did, one of the girls wandered in weary eyed. She asked me to listen to her read and I groaned internally. We walked back to the bedroom and she listened to my complaints, “only a couple of pages,” “it’s late,” “you need to be quick, okay?” As we arrived at her room, remnants of her beautiful fort were still drawn between her desk, chair and bed and she gestured for me to crawl in. I reached for my pocket, “don’t crush the iPhone,” I thought. Telltale sign number two. The little one began to read and in my head I’m waiting for her to finish. I felt awful. Telltale sign number three. Then, as she reads I retreated to my thoughts. This girl, a year ago, despised reading. Tears and yelling ensued when I would raise a book to her sight and here we are and she wants to read. Hell, she wants to read to me. And where do I want to be? Flicking my thumb up and down my touch screen refreshing my feed. I want to be checking Twitter and Snapchat and Facebook and Instagram and I feel awful. I feel so guilty and sorry and bizarre for having such a desire to do such meaningless things. So I tried to listen, and listen I did. When she stops because we finished the pages I told her we could read, I tell her to continue. I tell her how much she has improved, how good it is to hear her read and thank for her letting me into her little fort. I didn’t stop thinking about this long after she was asleep. Why is it that are we so connected to our phones? Why do I need to see “tweets” and “new photos” so urgently, it can wait can it not. What cannot wait is the present. I never want to appear to these kids that I don’t have time for them because I am looking at an LCD screen composed of things that can wait. I never want to appear to anyone that way. My mentality has altered tonight. I thought that we teach children, but most of the time, I find them teaching me.