Skip to Content

Filling up the tank is expensive

We used to say that we were “tanking” Joshua up when we’d feed him right before putting him to bed at night. He’d nurse or have a bottle (while I milked myself o_o ) and then we’d put him to bed and hope he slept through the night.

(He didn’t.)

Lately, he needs a different kind of “tanking up.”

His Mama-Love Tank seems to be running on empty. All the time. And apparently, Joshua drives an 18-wheeler because his Mama-Love Tank is enormous.

Nearly every morning since September, he’s been protesting and crying  at daycare drop-off in the mornings. Some mornings, I cry, too. I know that he’s loved and cared for at his daycare, and I know that he stops thinking about me by the time I reach my car.

But it breaks my heart to leave him crying every day when I know that he wants me. It’s also hard to go through my day and do my job when the last and most poignant sound in my ears is that of my child crying as I walk out the door.

This kind of thing breeds a lot of resentment. A lot.

When I pick him up, he practically shoots sunshine and rainbows out of his face and he screams “MA! MA!” and runs to me and I scoop him up and smother him in kisses and hugs.

**Sidenote: please see Life is Beautiful immediately if you haven’t already seen it. Like, see it yesterday. Pack tissues.**

When we get home Joshua is All-Mama-All-the-Time.

If I sit down for a minute, I have about 2 seconds until I hear “I needa sit Mama’s wap!” and his boney little toddler butt is glued to my leg. Glued.

And then there’s “I need you hold you me!” (formerly known as “Mama up!”) with his toddler arms stretched up toward my face asking to be picked up just to, presumably, be close to me.

The latest “trick” to get me to hold him is “I need you snuggle Mama.”


The “problem” (I hate even calling it that) comes from the fact that we, Joshua and me, we speak different Love Languages. (You’ve heard of The 5 Love Languages, right? I mean, I haven’t read it, but I’ve read a lot about it. And there’s even one for children.)


He’s Physical Touch. 10000000000000%.


Well, I’m not.

Joshua came out of the womb speaking this language. By the second or third night in the hospital he was asleep on my chest instead of in his bassinet because it was the only way he would even dare to sleep at all. And he’s spent many a night (And afternoon. And morning. And evening. And…) asleep on my chest since then.

So the “problem” is that I cannot possibly have someone touching me that frequently and not feel like my skin is going to crawl right off my body. I am a creature who craves personal space.

Saturday morning, he woke up at 6:15. From the time he woke up until the time Dan picked him up at the basketball game, he was on me or asking to be on me–sitting in my lap, asking to be carried, holding onto my leg–except for when he was napping. (A nap which almost didn’t happen.)

Sunday was a repeat of Saturday and at one point, I got up and went into another room so I could sit on more than 10 square inches of the couch. (In case you were wondering, my assets? Bigger than 10 square inches. Our couch? Also bigger than 10 square inches.)

When he wouldn’t take a nap on Sunday, I physically had to leave the house to prevent his sitting on top of me or asking to be picked up because my earlier strategy of leaving the room didn’t work.

I guess the real problem is that I’m away from him so much because of work that most of the time, I don’t mind his wanting to be that close to me. I recognize it for what it is–his desire to reconnect with me after being separated all day. And I want to reconnect with him, too.

But that line between “enough” and “too much” is very blurry.


And I just feel like a jerk.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Tuesday 6th of December 2011

Fortunately, unlike the tank in your car? What you're filling this tank with is a completely renewable resource.

Honey, of course you feel touched out. Of course he makes you crazy sometimes. You know why you're a really amazing mom? Because even when it makes your skin want to crawl, you still want to do whatever it takes to make your boy happy. No wonder he's so happy to see you at the end of the day.


Wednesday 7th of December 2011

True, true. A few minutes (or a night) of no snuggling and I find some reserves to do it all over again the next day.

And OMG he's so happy to see me. So.


Tuesday 6th of December 2011

Oh, that's difficult. Even being a snuggler myself, I sometimes find my ultra-cuddly little guy needs just a little more than I can find. I try my hardest not to let him know. I can't imagine how it feels if you're NOT a touchy-feely person.

So I send you hugs (the virtual kind that don't involve me invading your personal space.)


Wednesday 7th of December 2011

Yay virtual hugs!

I love to snuggle him, I do. But I love to snuggle him in small doses and not all-snuggle-all-the-time. Same as with anything--everything in moderation.


Monday 5th of December 2011

Oh, Miranda, that's difficult - and I have no advice. I get home & it's kids, all of the time, but, well, I'm a touchy-feely person, and my lap is ample.

It'll likely get worse when NSJM2.1 comes along - but it's obvious, in reading this that your kid knows that he's loved . . . and that's, really, all we can hope for as parents (well, that, and a little freaking peace & quiet)


Wednesday 7th of December 2011

Heh. Peace and quiet? You get that? ::jealous::

And yes, I know he knows he's loved so maybe that has to be enough.


Monday 5th of December 2011

I can completely sympathize with this. Like right now I'm trying to check my email and catch up on Twitter/FB/blogs/etc. and Kenz is sitting in my lap but she can't sit still (she is only 17 months old) so she is climbing and sitting and back and forth. Unfortunately my husband gets the short end of the stick on this one because by the time he gets home from work I am touched out and just want my space. No hugging, no snuggling.... see where I am headed with this? I also try to remind myself everyday that it won't always be like this and some day I will wish I had enjoyed it more.


Wednesday 7th of December 2011

I totally see where you're headed with this. Totally.

Erika @NAMAmmaSTE

Monday 5th of December 2011

I could have written this. We too have spoken different love languages since day one. Dylan's been acting the same way lately too and I feel so guilty that I want my space. Also, I'm home with him all day and he does it, so I agree with Alison that it has to do with being pregnant. I can't tell if he understands that there's a baby coming, but I can't help but think he might. He points at pictures of pregnant bellies and says "mommy?" and he's infatuated with babies (unfortunately, he also likes to try to hit every baby he sees and I'm not really sure what do to about that :/). Anyway, hang in there! I'm sure you're doing great and, even if you do speak different love languages, he knows you love him so much.


Wednesday 7th of December 2011

I know Joshua has pretty much zero clue what's going on right now, so I really just think this is him. And if this is him I can't imagine how much worse this will get when the new baby is here, you know?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.