Is a short attention span catching?

Brielle has always had the attention span of a butterfly. Quite the opposite of her sister, who was sitting through books with simple plots at this same age. Now Aviana and I are reading chapter books, while Brielle and I are content with What’s for Lunch? and Find the Duck type books.

I’m getting off topic a bit (which is my point) but I wanted to ask if I am inheriting a shorter attention span from my daughter. To illustrate:

I start to cart all the dolls and toys out of the kitchen (which always seem to be there at the end of the day, despite the no toys in the kitchen rule, and my saying every five seconds, take the toys out of the kitchen), and see a torn book that needs taping; so I get out the packing tape, which is kept in the drawer by the refrigerator on which hangs the grocery list; which reminds me that I need to print off a new grocery list, so I go to the computer, but discover the printer is out of the dark pink ink (not that I need it to print off the grocery list), so I go into the closet in Kevin’s office to get another cartridge and notice the magnetic calendar we bought for Aviana and are hiding in there until she is a little older and Brielle is less likely to wander away with all the important dates, which reminds me that tomorrow is the first day of February and I need to change all my calendars; when I flip over to February I see it’s my sister-in-law’s birthday tomorrow–HAPPY BIRTHDAY CONNIE!!–and realize I haven’t sent her card; so I make a note to stick on in January so next year I will see that I need to send the card before her birthday arrives and I go upstairs to my scrapbooking room to make a card; while I am there I notice there are dead flies all over my carpet so I go get the vacuum and vacuum them up then I see the plant really needs watering so I go downstairs to the kitchen to get some water and see all the toys and dolls in the laundry basket I left on the floor by the drawer by the refrigerator.

So what I want to know is, is this condition permanent?

10 thoughts on “Is a short attention span catching?

  1. Holy cow! We live the same life!

    I can never stay on topic or just one chore. It’s like I have a mental block or something. I just can’t do it – I get so distracted, but then I get frustrated with myself.
    I make a lot of lists – that seems to help me somewhat. And I definitely think it has gotten worse since I’ve had children or maybe I got it from them – like you asked originally!!

  2. A nicer name for it is multi-tasking. Or perhaps MADS (Mother’s Attention Distraction Syndrome) which I suffer from, along with GADS(Gardener’s Attention Distraction Syndrome) during the growing season in which I start out to the flower bed with a specific task in mind, but after stopping to do 10 unplanned ones I still haven’t accomplished the original job in mind!! Oh, the list of distractions could go on and on – the female can accomplish everything on her list and then some. The male is proud of himself if he completes just one “extra” task, and needs a pat on the back to boot:)

    So give yourself a big pat, and thank God for creating us so wondrously!!

  3. Do you feel like a new “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” book??!?! I do! I think it isn’t that our attention spans are short as much as our plates are really full. There’s always so much to do!!!

    Good luck with that 🙂

  4. Don’t hate me for saying this, but … yes. Yes, that condition is permanent. I think you can teach yourself a few tricks, like training yourself to (clean the kitchen) clean off a single counter before you start anything else, and not leave (the kitchen) the counter before it’s done. This is a big struggle for me, because I’m the exact same way!

    There are days when I’ve worked very hard all day, doing a lot of stuff, and when I look around before my husband gets home, it doesn’t look like I’ve done anything, and I realize that I’ve half-finished all 26 items on my to-do list. Or, as my sweet husband would put it, I’ve not completely finished any items on my to-do list.

    On the upside, people like us are rarely ever bored!!! And truth be told, neither are our children. 🙂 Off to start my meme now … right after I clean up from breakfast, get sidetracked by the baby and play with him, and realize that he doesn’t have any clean clothes so I’ll do some laundry, until I decide to go get the eggs from the chickens, and get distracted by my new tiller on the way, which reminds me that I have a few packets of seeds left to order, and while I make my way to the computer, I’ll notice that the stairs really need to be vacuumed, and I think I’ll clean out the boys’ closet before I go to all the trouble of pulling a dirty vacuum out of there, and oh, look, I really should take that stuff downstairs while I’m thinking about it …

    Phew! It’s not even 9 yet, and I’m already tired!! Now, what was it I was going to do???? 🙂

  5. Tis true….it’s permanent. At least I hope it’s only til the kids are grown. I’ll need all my brain cells back by then! Actually, I never even knew I was doing this until my cousin watched me one day and said, “No wonder you never get anything done.” I asked what he meant and he said I never finish anything…just keep going to new things as I see them. Then I realized it was true. And, though I still struggle with this daily, knowing I do it is half the battle. Sometimes I actually have to FORCE myself to stay in one place long enough to finish one task. I even make the kiddies wait sometimes…just for my sanity: “I MUST finish ONE task today, if nothing else!” lol So, don’t worry. You’re not alone, but it wont’ go away for a long, long time, if ever. Don’t give up. Just have fun! 🙂

  6. I’ve been accused of having a “Mouse Cookie” mentality! And it’s so true. I’ve gone from doing laundry to touch-up painting the baseboards w/o knowing how I got switched up! Not good. Oh well.

    Btw, my oldest was enjoying chapter books with me at age 3 also, while my second born wanted nothing to do with chapter books before age 6! If it didn’t have pictures, she didn’t want anything to do with it. Like night and day. And the first was reading the Bible and chapter books early on, while my second, 7 yo currently, still takes her time reading.

    I kept a list of all the chapter books firstborn and I read, and unfortunately, it really made second dd’s literary exposure seem that much worse, though she spent/spends plenty of time with picture books and she loves the library.

  7. Oh too funny! I have ADD and its a blessing and a curse. I often find myself cleaning house just like you do. I’ll start in the bedroom and end up cleaning the garage. lol.

    My girlfriend calls it “Shiny Object Syndrome” because I get distracted by shiny objects. 🙂

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