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.
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.”
HOW DOES ONE RESIST THE CUTE OF THAT?
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.