Monday, March 31, 2008

Space Invaders

Most days, I struggle to find my own air to breathe, as someone or something is constantly in my space. I try and I try to remind myself that puppies are only puppies once and the same goes for little girls. They are only little once.

But these endless daily reminders wear on me, and I find myself getting frustrated more easily and snapping at the kids much sooner than I would like.

Take cooking dinner, which can, if you have time, be a great way to involve your little ones in the cooking process, share with them your skill at burning things and teach them how to mistakingly add salt when you were supposed to add sugar. If you are trying to get dinner on the table in 10 minutes though, it can be a disaster.

When I've got boiling water going, meatballs cooking and salad fixings waiting to be chopped, the last thing I need on my kitchen counter is my daughter.

Granted, I love to have her there to "help" any other time of the day. But when I'm rushed, and at the end of my rope, and trying to feed the hungry masses? Not so much.

The same goes for my daily grooming routine. If you could call it that. Most days, Katie is right there with me, playing with her Polly Pockets as I shave my legs and condition my hair. The bonus to having her in the shower with me is that she is awfully adept at retrieving the soap when I drop it. The downside is that she likes to tell me I have cheeseburgers in my fanny. This leaves me feeling, oh, not so confident as I start my day.

I try to sneak in there without her knowledge, but it never works. No sooner do I think I'm alone when a little hand peels open the shower curtain and proclaims, "I'm coming in!"

I will refrain from telling stories of wanting to use the toilet alone.

Sleeping is another time when I would rather not be disturbed, in a big way. I love my sleep. I would marry sleep if I could. I do not get enough of it. And when that tiny figure appears at my side of the bed at o'dark thirty, I've become such an automated robot that all I say is, "Oh, hi there." And then I hoist the child up over my previously sleeping form and she wiggles into her "spot" between her parents.

The other morning, her knees were actually around my neck.

Say it with me now, "good times."

The funny thing about this incredible lack of personal space, air and, well . . . time, is that it is all being munched up by my daughter. My daughter, who tells me, "I love you mostest," and "You'll be my mommy until I am fourteen." What? Do I get a replacement at fourteen?

As much as I wish I could breathe, I am aware that in my frustration and lack of patience at times, lies a greater fulfillment than I could ever want.

And full is the way I like it.


Valarie said...

"Space Invaders" are the best.

My oldest daughter is 17 and a friend of hers, who is almost 19 just had a baby. It really hit home that htey are growing up. Espectially since I had her when I was 17. It brought back a lot of memories, and made me realize how fast the time goes.

Ann(ie) said...

That's so sweet. Okay, I might cry at the cheeseburger part, but all in all so precious. I can't get my little fireball to slow down long enough to give me a hug these days. He's too busy trying to race around the house 40 kazillion times before bedtime.

Shania said...

I have 3 grown children and a 4 year old. I can't believe I'm saying this after being with him 24/7 for TWO WEEKS over break, but I'm already missing the hugs and constant togetherness. As he reminds me daily, "when I'm 7, you can't hug me anymore".

Sunshine said...

My younger daughter asked when she gets to drive a car. Mind you, she's just turned 4. It went like this.

"How old will I be when I can drive a car?"
"And then I'll get a baby in my belly!"

I think little ones have a skewed look at what they can do when they're teenagers. Obviously, your daughter plans to be an emancipated minor at 14. lol

flutter said...

cheeseburgers in your fanny.

THAT is a creative little girl.

OHmommy said...

Perfect post.


I feel the SAME way. I do. It is a love hate type of thing. Sometimes I just want to finish dinner without any "help" or shave my legs without an audience.


Family Adventure said...

What a beautiful post, Carrie. Can I just say that your writing is amazing? I love reading your blog.

As far as the children go, yes, it is stressful and hard at times, but I'm also trying hard to appreciate every moment, because, like you said, they are only here for a short period of time.


Amanda said...

Oh Carrie, this one hurt me. Absolutely exquisite!

pinks & blues girls said...

I, too, had to laugh at the "cheeseburgers in your fanny" line. Too much!

Yes, I am sure when you find yourself in an empty nest someday, you'll be wishing to have those little space invaders around you. But now, when personal space is at a premium, I'm sure it's hard to think that way at times!

Jane, Pinks & Blues

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

I think that God has designed it so that we love our little children SO MUCH...that they grow up to be teenagers.. and are MEAN to US...and we are finally relieved when they move out! LMBO

Carrie said...

I spent the hours between 5:30 and 7 AM this morning trying to convince my baby that I did not want his fingers in my nose, my mouth or my ears, and that I did not want to have his paci, and that perhaps he should roll the other direction and bug his daddy instead. It didn't work. :)

Stacey @Real World Mom said...

As moms, we need to remember to take time for ourselves too. A lesson that, for me, was very hard to learn...

mrsmogul said...

Ah yes...sometimes I lose patience when he sleeps on us and jumps at me but then he is still little and won't do that forever..I HOPE!

I need a SPA DAY!

painted maypole said...

so sweet. this constant nearness... it ebbs away slowly, so that you almost don't notice it, and now I often wonder "where has she gone?"

Mrs. Chicken said...

I feel this way a lot, too. But I am also aware of how fleeting it is, and how quickly the years will pass, and before I know it I will be all alone in the house with my husband.

Who will probably still want to share a shower. :)

Cheffie-Mom said...

Now that my daughter is grown up... well kind of, she's 22...I miss those moments!!! They grow up way to fast!

Becky said...

this totally strikes a chord with me...cuz its MY life totally. and i wouldnt have it any other way!

Mamacita Tina said...

There are days I explode when they are both just hanging off me as I try to walk across a room, or sit for a moment. I immediately regret it. Especially since I recently signed Ian up for preschool and now realize my time with him is being limited. Sniff.

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

I can so relate to this.

The good *and* the bad.

creative-type dad said...

At fourteen!?! LOL

Kellan said...

Yes, sometimes they are too much in our air and in our space ... but there does come a day when they move out of our air and space and we crave to have them back there to cuddle and to hold. We never think those days will come - but they do!!!

Have a good day Carrie - so glad to see you today. Take care - Kellan

Kendra said...

I laughed so hard at the the "cheeseburgers in your fanny" line that I spit out my drink!

My daughter loves "Girl Time" in the bathroom. (Ya know taking a bath or shower, painting our nails....)
I am never able to tell her to please leave...
1) Because she wouldn't lol
& 2) I feel sooo guilty. She looks at me w/that adorable lil' face and says "I love our Gir Time Mommy" Melts my heart!

Tuesday Girl said...

I have ti the same way. The kids are always on top of me and I never get a moment to myself, but at the end of the day, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Michelle Smiles said...

I miss showering little one hates to shower but it is less traumatic than the bath so I do it so that she doesn't sob quite so much (I miss really hot water and not having to sing while washing my hair). I miss going to the bathroom alone. I can't imagine when she is your daughter's age and really wants to be in all of those places with me rather than it being forced so I can keep her in my eyesight or just out of her curiosity.