I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Little Too Close

I didn't grow up in a particularly touchy-feely family. I really can only vaguely remember my parents giving me hugs and kisses, although of course they did give loads of love, it just wasn't always very physical. It's really only since I've been with DH (who is so touchy feely as to resemble a large man-shaped piece of velcro) that touchy-feelyness has been part of my life. I've noticed the difference in myself especially when I am around my siblings. My sister still isn't into touchy-feely - she visibly cringes when she senses someone coming in close for a hug. It's just not a comfortable thing for her to do. My brother, who was also previously of the touch-me-and-I'll-sock-you-in-the-eye category, is engaged to someone who is clearly a touchy feely. So he, too, has now been sucked into the vortex of hand holding, ear nuzzling, hug-while-standing-close-in-a-line affection of the physical sort.

My new-found (if you count 13 years as new) touchiness is something which has clearly been passed onto my kids. We own what is quite possibly the world's largest living room couch. It's enormous. If it had wings, it would be a jumbo jet. If it had wheels, it would be a road train. It's this massive, sink right into it's luscious goodness L-shaped leather couch. However, it's clearly far too big for us, and it has this magnetic field embedded in it. Observe us watching TV together as a family: At the start of watching a show together, we're all one person away from each other (so person-space-person-space-person). By the first ad break, all the spaces between us have disappeared and we're all smooshed onto one end. So you look at this vast expanse of couch which is all empty, and at one end it's personpersonpersonpersonpersonanddog (on floor.)

We just spend an unbelivable amount of time squished into one another, and the couch is only one example.

For us as a family, it's all about hugs and hand holding and "just one more" hug or kiss or touch or pat. I have no shame in admitting I love giving my daughter's butt a playful smack or rub when she walks past, that tickle fights are an everyday occurrence around here, and that we spend an extraordinary amount of time invading each other's personal space. 99% of the time, I love that about us. I love that we are close in every way it's possible to be so, and I like to believe that this closeness will be carried through the rest of my children's lives. We're a team, in everything we do, and it stands to reason that teams stick together (although perhaps not quite so literally.) I truly believe that the families who eat together, play together, and work at things together will ultimately be successful at producing happy, healthy individuals.

However. I'm new to this whole velcro and sticky tape lifestyle, and so occasionally I completely lose my shit over the fact that YOU PEOPLE ARE ALL UP IN MY SPACE AND CAN YOU PLEASE STOP BLOODY TOUCHING ME!!! and then I flap my arms like a girl and yell some more until everyone realises they need to take a GIANT step back before I go totally postal on the whole lot of them. Today was one of those days. We went to find some camping gear for DS (and we all know how I feel about camping, so my comfort zone was already feeling a bit hot and itchy and annoyed). This camping shopping trip involved lots of walking and looking and canvas discussions and bits of metal pole and a whole lot of money and other stuff I don't like. DS, bless him, found a new way to walk along next to me. He's so tall that he can now lean his elbow on the top of my handbag (which is hanging from my shoulder) and then kinda lean into me nice and close. So the end effect is he drags my shoulder down, which makes me look more like the Hunchback of Notre Dame than I already do. Plus he weighs a lot so it's a bit like walking while carrying a sack of flour with legs. It's really an unpleasant way to walk...and no matter how much I tell him to STOP LEANING ON ME, he doesn't even realise he's doing it. He's a touchy feely, and that's just his way. So then, of course, I either walk much faster than he does, or I move my handbag to the other shoulder. I take defensive action and engage in a choreographed dance of anti-child elbow leaning activities. It's totally futile, because exactly like the weird magnetic field on the couch, this kid just kinda...shoomps right back over to me. (No, I don't think shoomp is a word, but it sounded right in context. Work with me.)

This happened all afternoon.

I don't need to tell you how much my last nerve was herself getting annoyed at being leaned on.

By the time we got home today, between all the thinking about camping crap and the leaning and DD2 driving me INSANE with her endless questions I'd already answered 3 times (yet another endearing quality of all children)..I'd had enough. So, as you might have already guessed, I lost my shit at everyone. I yelled. And then, of course, I felt kinda bad about it - because what sort of crappy mother shouts at her kids for wanting to be close to her? I should be shouting about drug use or plagiarism or blatant misuse of grammar, not shouting about something like cuddling! Geez, what sort of crappy mother am I?

The very same one who loses her shit, feels bad about it, and then solves it all with a hug and a butt rub.


I think this is a vicious circle, and I'm the one keeping it going...and yet I can't very well yell at myself to stop leaning on me, now can I?

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