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Like an Atom Bomb – BOOM



Do you see that mushroom cloud?  That lingering mass of destruction and chaos…

Yea…  that is what has become of my personal space – { insert blowing up noise here}

It was there once.  I didn’t even know I had it – I didn’t even know it was there really – until it was completely and totally destroyed.  I had my own space on the couch, and locks on the bathroom door, and showers alone or even with my husband if I chose, and my own toothbrush, and my own qtips, and my own pillow in my own bed, and my own skin that was on my own body, and enough elbow room to eat a meal and drinks without crumbs in them (or snot), cuts and scabs that could actually heal without be touched with dirt or jelly covered fingers, and the ability to wear white (or any color other than black or denim, really).  There was a point in time where I could go running alone, put my headphones in and tune out the world.  Now I have three kids, one stroller, two busy bug handles, and a clip on speaker that I feel compelled to turn down every time we walk past another person because no one likes to hear Old McDonald or worse… Let it Go – Let it Go, I’m one with the wind and sky, Let it Go, Let it Go, You’ll never see me cry! And we walk – we don’t run.  Running toddlers = falling toddlers = scraped knees = crying = bandaids = going back to the car = end of “peaceful, much needed ‘run” and more grimy filthy little fingers picking scabs and needing bamb-baids for two weeks before we attempt to go “running” again.  { insert blowing up noise here}

Earlier this week I pulled through starbucks to grab my coffee.  Ahh… few moments of bliss – then I take a sip and feel something between the cup and my top lip – like a sticker pulling the skin.  I flip down the mirror to see some unknown substance – literally, I have no idea when they got it on me…it could have been yogurt from breakfast or milk, or pasty sucked on cookie or slimy dried out banana or glue  or worst of all – it could have been baby snot. Whatever it was it was crusted just above my top lip and the last time I had seen a mirror all day was in the morning walking out the door – it was 4:00pm.  For all I know, we had been out all day with some schmutz crusted over my top lip and nose like I didn’t know how to wipe my mouth.  I would have even questioned my own abilities except for the fact that upon further inspection, I found the same unknown substance down my shirt sleeve and arm.  If I had to guess, it was probably a sweet snotty kiss that got wiped down my arm as they climbed down—which at the time I probably mistook for just one of their rubby kisses where they have to burry their faces into you and your skin and slide down you touching every inch of your arm or leg or whatever they can get their hands on – when really – they just needed a place to wipe their snot.  { insert blowing up noise here}

Yesterday we walked through Target (mainly because they also have a Starbucks), gathering our much ‘needed’ items.  Nora sat in the cart, Oliver and Olivia walked.  Olivia held my hand while the entire time rubbing her face and mouth on my left arm.  I pushed the cart with my right arm while Nora chewed on and bit my knuckles with those brand new baby razors.   Oliver – well – Oliver at least attempted to walk under my dress.  Like literally standing wearing the front of my big blousy t-shirt dress over his head while certainly pulling the back of it up over my bare ass and causing regular traffic pile up with me tripping and stepping on him and pulling Olivia down by the hand on top of me, everyone was crying…. In the mean time, another mom walks by shaking her head smiling – saying, “I remember those days”.   { insert blowing up noise here}

This week was ‘that time of the month’ and with my son’s heightened curiosity about everything in the world – I was left in quite the predicament.  There are no locked doors in our house – hell – there are no shut doors.  With a 14 month old on the loose and 3.5 year old twins that terrorize one another to the hilt, you have to have a visual at all times.  Zone defense combat I’ve heard it called.  On the flip side – they have to have a visual of you and become most interested in that 30 seconds you take to sit on the toilet.  Oliver stands in front of me trying to pry my knees open to look in and inspect what’s been done – “Mom, are you peeing or pooping or are you a good girl and did both so you don’t have to go later”.  God forbid you have to use any sort of feminine product – what he refers to as “roll up poop.”  Oliver – go look quick!  Spiderman is at the front door! (not…)  In the mean time – Nora has a tiny gob of tissue paper in her hand she’s trying to cram forcefully between my legs to to try to help wipe me.  { insert blowing up noise here}

Father’s Day, Ken felt the personal space pinch.  He headed in the bathroom for his morning shower only to have Oliver appear at the glass door naked, “Can I shower with you dad?” Followed by Olivia… Thankfully there are two shower heads – but unfortunately for Ken – there are not three.  Once the twins were in – dad was out.  “Get out dad, there is no room for you, you don’t have a spot.” while they pushed him by the legs out of his own shower… He should just feel fortunate he didn’t have two sagging breasts that they try to grab like knobs with a tune in Tokyo approach when you bend over.

Somedays, I would just love to have a Mom bubble.  Do not cross here – do not touch here.  Maybe one of those blow up sumo wrestler costumes would work.

With three of them hanging (like, seriously, hanging like monkeys) from me or trying to crawl into my skin all day – like really….IN to my skin…come the end of the day all I want to do is climb into bed, and let nothing but the cold sheets touch my body.

Then I lay there wide awake in quiet and dark with my hair standing on end and compulsively stare at the monitor scanning each room. Are they warm enough? Are they too warm? Are they comfortable? Is that stuffed animal too close to her face? Are they too close to the edge of their bed?  If they roll over on the book they fell asleep with will it hurt-should I go put it up?  One will certainly wake up any minute – there is no point in going to sleep.  Oh my God – it’s 2am I must go to sleep ….  2:12am – what’s that?  Who was that? Which one is up?  the baby…  my lip busted from a quick forceful head thrust backward over not wanting back in her own bed,  3:30am and I’m back in bed…  6am one has mysteriously appeared in my bed and is trying to crawl inside my skin again while begging to watch a movie. Oh my God!  WTF? I think he just licked my arm.  { insert blowing up noise here}

Alarm goes off, shower, shave, repeat…  and to think every, every single minute they spend away from me – at pre-school, with my parents occasionally, asleep at night- after that deep breath and sigh of initial relief to have back my ‘self’ – I miss them – every second.  One day – the dust will settle, the chaos will calm, the ‘destruction’ will rebuild – and I will have back the once so valued personal space, but that will mean they have gotten too big to need help wiping that snotty nose or need the comfort of being held.  They will be too big to want to hide under my dress – or anywhere else playing.  They will be too big to need me in the middle of the night, and I’m quite sure that when that day comes I will still lie awake in bed at night waiting and wishing and missing that constant need and connection with my kids, because right now – despite the need for a moment’s breath every now and then and the occasional need for my own toddler like tantrum melt down and time out ——- – it is pure joy.