If you are a parent and have a history of obsessive compulsive tendencies, you may have caught yourself in the following scenario a time or two:
Staring at the waxy, drippy handprints on a pristine glass window armed with a wad of papertowels and your white-knuckled finger on the Windex trigger. Should I, shouldn’t I. Should I, shouldnt I. My mom loves me. She loves me not.
Lately, I have been able to will myself to leave the prints awhile longer (like months, people. That is huge for me). I lower the cleaning products and back away slowly because, well, in all triteness- those handprints are getting less frequent by the day and have come to represent some of the same glory as a Picasso up-close to me. Note to old friends: yes, I am still completely neurotic about the wire hanger thing in closets. Mommy Dearest to the nth degree.
Just the other day, I also noticed that it is nothing but delusional wishful thinking that those stepstools in the bathroom are still used for teethbrushing. My kids haven’t needed that extra boost in inches to the sink for months and yet I can’t find a way to Goodwill them just yet so they gather a fine film of dust in the spare bedroom for now.
Usually, this is when a mom of a 6 and 8-year-old gets the inevitable baby itch, has some form of a mid-life crisis, and (oops) procreates again. Fortunately, I have a level-headed husband who knows that we have everything we ever wanted in the form of children- and perhaps, some days, more than we need.
This whole parenting process reminds me very much of the beginning phases of dating the one (or if you are a Newt Gingrich-type, the three). Remember those days and weeks when you couldn’t fall asleep unless you were literally spooning your significant other? You practically had your toes laced together in embrace? And now? Now, spoons are for cereal. The parenting and marriage novelty waxes and wanes as assuredly as the tides. You may spoon (the verb usage) on anniversaries. You may not. Generally speaking, at some point after kids, adults come to crave their space between the sheets. Sleep in some ways becomes the opiate of choice. It is what we often dream of when we are, in fact, given enough consecutive hours of REM sleep to actually concoct a dream.
A lesson in bed geography often includes stiffarming the ones we love if they dare to infringe on our sleep territory. My husband frequently guards his turf with a ridge of Mt. Down Pillows. Dare to cross that boundary and you may walk away with a bloody nose. He tends to startle in a hostile manner out of sleep. Any hint of spousal spooning instigated on the heels of a hella round of witching hours (see previous blog post titled Jekyll), even a good wife is prone to give the universal sign for back-the-truck-up….it sometimes comes in the form of feigned snoring or flatulence, whatever it takes. Parents of newborns, close your ears here. Sleep is still a sought-after commodity during the elementary years.
Just last night, my son parked himself in our bed and had a revelation that if we held hands or touched toes, that we could slip into the same dream together (thereby, I suppose chasing away the bad ones he has had of late?). It was so endearing that I conceded to give it a go before remembering what this would truly entail. It would entail sharing my bed and spooning the fella until he was good and asleep which could be anywhere from 5 -50 minutes from start to finish. It would entail me sweating because I swear the kid’s body heat bumps up the bed temperature more successfully than a microwave- at around 10 extra degrees per minute. This metaphorical putting-the-windex-down move would entail ignoring the fact that I was just about to finish one of the best books that I have read this decade. By myself. For an hour or so. It would mean handing over the golden hour of solitude to this sweaty little gremlin. See the dating analogy beginning to form? Oh, and let’s not forget… It also could quite possibly entail that I will wake up in the ‘h’ is for hell position (see below) in just about 3 hours from now.
I went with it anyway. Climb in little dude. Spoon it up.
One day soon in the blink of an eye, the pinata shreds won’t be caught in the dust bunnies in the far reaches of the house. One day, my alone time will actually be the very bane of my existence. One day, and let’s not get too Oedipal about this, another gal will be spooning my little guy instead of me. (I better like her, that’s all I have to say about that).
As for the dream theory, I think that it worked. Silver spoons not needed around here. Just a good old-fashioned spoonfed, sweaty soul.