Things I have to say to my children, often:
Stop touching me.
Stop kissing me.
Don’t pee on your brother.
Only one boy can massage me at a time.
Get your hands out of your pants.
I can’t hold you both on my lap at the same time without pulling a muscle.
I’m not strong enough to carry you both at once.
I can’t cuddle you both to sleep.
Get the spoon out of your nose.
That isn’t food.
It’s a tampon, not a toy.
Please, stop asking me the same question over and over again.
Stop fake crying.
It’s a vagina.
Wow. Those last two strung together are a little disturbing, and hopefully not at all prophetic. What I like about this list is that, mostly, I have to basically keep the children from loving me too much. I’m a horrible person! They just love me so freaking much! And it drives me insane! It’s like a non-stop festival of love! It’s over-love! They want to (and let’s face it: they basically try to) crawl right back inside my womb. And as much as I like it, and appreciate it, at the same time it’s extremely, well, annoying.
(You know why mothers don’t want to have sex with their husbands? Because they don’t want to be touched. It isn’t because sex isn’t enjoyable, and it isn’t because they don’t love their spouses. And really? It isn’t because we’re tired. It’s simply because we don’t want anybody all up in our business!)
Somehow we raised our children to depend so heavily on us that if I leave the room, briskly and with the intention of coming back in mere seconds, my kids follow me so quickly that I usually trip over them as I am heading back to where I came from. Rowan actually lays at my feet while I am getting ready in the morning, and I have had to restrict them from entering the bathroom while I am—daintily and attractively—going to the bathroom. So they sit at the door, peering in at me. Which is pretty fucking creepy. When I am blogging, they both try to lay behind me on the chair and in fact, at this moment, Rowan is pretending to be a fox and laying on my lap while Luca is hanging on one of my arms. And they are both licking me. Beading is interesting. Usually, Luca just crawls around by my feet, retrieving lost beads.
And recently? I got out of the shower and had yet to put a towel around me and Rowan, who was of course right there, asked, while pointing at my boobs, “what are those things for?” This cracked me up, because he could clearly see that they have a job.
There was a time (a long time, actually) when Rowan literally couldn’t sleep without someone touching him. I would get him fast asleep, and try to get out of bed to pee (daintily and attractively), and he would instantly wake up. And he wouldn’t just wake up, he would wake up screaming for me. As if I had left him on the side of the road after killing his puppy. It was so stressful! I felt like I was being held hostage! By a tiny little love terrorist! And it sucks, because who the hell could I say, “it’s so hard for me to have such loving children!” to without being punched in the face? Even I would punch me in the face!
It isn’t the kids being loving that bothers me, it’s the total dependency. Which, intellectually, I get, but physiologically, it makes me all itchy. And then the feelings of guilt for being annoyed at tiny, adorable, loving children. Children that I made, and delivered (or, actually, had sliced out of me in an OR). I’m a horrible, ungrateful person. Occasionally, and more frequently now that they are older, they will play together or by themselves, and I can sit quietly, staring blankly at the wall. But it is fleeting. Although, here is where it all pays off:
The other day, I had to take Luca to get a vaccination. I told him as we were driving over to the doctor, because telling my kids the truth is usually helpful to them. He had his checkup, his vision and hearing checked, and then the doctor said she would send in the nurse with the shot. Rowan turned to Luca and said, while patting the seat next to him:
“Luca, sit right here and hold my hand so I can comfort you while you get your shot.”
And Luca climbed up on the seat and let Rowan take his hand, and said, “Shot? What’s a shot?” (Because no one actually listens to me, ever.)
Rowan said, “Let me tell you about it. First the nurse will come in, and she will have a sharp point of medicine. She will either stick it in your leg or your arm, and it will hurt. You might cry, but it will be over very quickly, and you will be very brave. And then she will put a band-aid on it, and it won’t hurt anymore. Okay? I can hold your hand if you want me to.”
The whole time this was happening, I was trying desperately to keep cool, because inside I was DYING. I was so loving my kids! I wanted the camera to capture it, and I wanted the nurse to walk in and hear Rowan and tell me how sweet my kids are! But I also wanted to do what I so rarely do, and just be there, listening and observing, not interrupting the moment but experiencing it. So I did, and I realized that, having loving kids? It’s pretty damn cool.