I Am Not A Pillow
I have three daughters whom I adore. They adore me too. They like to be close to me. Really, really close to me. They smother me.
I love cuddling with one of them. Doesn't matter which one, but one seems to be the limit for me to be able to enjoy the time together. Any more than that and I turn into She Who Must Not Be Touched.
When my family is, say, watching a World Cup soccer game, which we've been doing a fair amount of, I usually end up standing behind the couch. If I attempt to sit down, I am promptly covered in girl children. They sit on any available portion of my body, my legs, arms, head, if need be. They attempt to achieve as high a percentage as possible of body to body contact. They crush me.
When I sit down to, say, write a blog post, it takes about 5.3 seconds before a girl child (or two or three) is pressing against my arm, leaning into my side and invading my space. Like right now as I type, and keep having to correct spelling because it's hard to type correctly when my left arm is supporting a 5 year old and my right leg is trying to keep a three year old at bay. And my seven year old is trying to engage me in conversation.
Once draped all over me, they usually sit peacefully for another 5.3 seconds before the squirming and bickering begin. They want to touch as much of me as possible, but go bananas if "her" leg touches "hers." They compare how much space they each have and make pronouncements about fairness and justice. They make life miserable.
It's not a nice feeling to be a mom who says: "NOPE!" as soon as a wee girl makes her way over to my lap, setting off the radar on the other two girls: BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP LAP SITTING IS TAKING PLACE BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP MUST JOIN THE PARTY BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP.
It's not a nice feeling to avoid physical contact with my girls.
I do love them so, but the amount of closeness they require is exhausting.
So my mothering challenge for today: Lovingly explain to my daughters the concept of personal space, without hurting their feelings, so that I neither bark at them nor become their pillow, so that all four of us arrive at the end of the day feeling like we got our needs met: their need to touch me as often as possible and my need not to feel like an overworked sheep at a petting zoo visited by a ADHD-infested classroom of kindergardeners.
Sounds pretty impossible to me. But I'm all about attempting the impossible, so let's see how this goes.
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