We all have things that we would consider our “favorite” parts of being a parent. For me, it’s when my 3-year old calls me his best girl. Or when my 18-month old burrows his head into my shoulder when he’s sleepy. Or the sloppy kisses. Or feeling the weight of my newborn son as he sleeps on my chest. Sleeping milk-drunk babies. All the firsts. It’s all so wonderful that I actually feel bad about talking about the stuff I don’t like about parenting.
But I keeps it real, so here goes.
My youngest son is in this phase of wanting to climb all over me ALL. THE. TIME. If I’m sitting down for two seconds, he is on me. Climbing on my legs. Trying to climb onto the couch or chair. But he’s not content to sit beside me, oh no. He has to be ON me. Sitting in my lap, crawling all over my shoulders. He’ll lay his head down on my shoulder and hug me, and then I feel bad for being irritated. But then he’ll immediately want back down, and will slide down my legs and onto my toes to get there. Thirty seconds later, we repeat the entire process.
And God forbid I don’t immediately pick him up and set him on my lap or let him hug me or whatever he wants to do, because by golly he is getting up there one way or another. He will dig his tiny sneakers into my calf meat for traction. Claw at my clothes in an attempt to pull himself up. Pitch a royal fit and just will not stop TOUCHING me.
I am not a very touchy-feely person to begin with, so this whole being subjected to constant tiny human contact is extremely draining to me. I need space. I need to be in complete possession of my own body. I just need to not be touched sometimes. My husband and I don’t snuggle at night when we sleep. We kiss each other goodnight and then roll to our respective sides of the bed. One or the other of us might throw an arm over the other in the middle of the night, but we are not one of those couples that sleeps entwined with one another.
And before anyone says that it’s a phase and he’ll grow out of it, I present as evidence to the contrary my nearly 4-year old son who does the same thing, albeit with less drama. But if I’m sitting down and he is watching a show or something, he wants to sit in my lap. Fortunately, he is content with sitting on my legs if they are propped on the ottoman, or sitting beside me if I am working on the laptop. But the baby? Nope. Everything must stop and cease and halt because he must sit on my lap. If I make him wait one second longer than he wants to wait, all hell breaks loose. And it’s not confined just to sitting. When I’m at the stove cooking dinner, he situates himself between my legs and the oven and pushes me away from it, then holds his arms up to be picked up. At the washer or dryer, he’s between me and whatever I’m doing. It’s not only annoying, it’s dangerous. And I don’t know how to get him to cool it.
I know these years are fleeting and in 10 years I’ll long for the days when my babies would crawl in my lap and just sit with me and blah blah blah, but geez. I just want some space to breathe sometimes. If I’m not doing anything I’m more than happy for them to sit with me. But laundry needs to be folded. Chores need to be done. Dinner needs to be cooked. And I love that my kids are so affectionate, but man. I just need a little room sometimes.