Loss of personal space – the hardest part of parenting

standard November 23, 2009 2 responses

Forget the whole concept of a room of her own. Not that it wouldn’t me amazing to have one. Four walls encapsulating a space all my own. My things. My books.

But that’s a pipe dream. And frankly I don’t need that much.

No. Some days all I really want is just a foot of my own. A one foot radius all around me, that is all mine.

I gave that up the day C was born. One could even argue that I gave that up the day I got pregnant with her.

Most of the time I don’t mind always having someone hanging off of me, or having two little people not understand that my body isn’t their personal playground. Even when I’m in the bathroom. Or when Little L peers down my shirt to make remarks about my chest. It’s part of the game.

But then there are weekends like this one. Which started with a splat Friday night as we were loading up the car to head to the beach. I was putting on Little L’s her shoes when she started to throw up. Then she threw up some more, and then some more. Crying hysterically the whole time.

Much to everyone’s chagrin I pulled the plug on the weekend trip and I got busy cleaning up the child and the mess she had made. Just to be thorough I also took her temperature and instantly started worrying that she might have gotten Swine despite all my heroic efforts at getting her vaccinated.

Of course the next morning I checked in with the pediatrician’s office before discovering the massive blister on the side of her tongue. Blister that, in conjunction with a rapidly developing diaper rash, screamed Hand, Foot, and Mouth.

In all my innocence I thought that a small blister or two and a bit of a fever were all we’d have to contend with for the weekend. I did not expect endless whining, no sleeping, and the torture of having to feed a starving child who screamed every time food was placed in her blistered mouth.

It was a long weekend.

She spent the weekend in my arms or hanging on my leg begging to be picked up. And it would have been OK if by Sunday afternoon C wasn’t echoing her whine for whine.

And even that might have been OK, if C hadn’t somehow managed to erase all the progress I had made on the Nintendo DS game which was all I was able to do all day while holding and cuddling a restlessly sleeping toddler. And I realize that it is absurd be be annoyed, or even upset by something so trivial as a video game score that has been erased, but at the end of this weekend where I was nothing more than an extension of my sick toddler, it was almost more than I could take.

So I grabbed my car keys, waved a hasty goodbye, and ran to the grocery store where I stocked up on rice pudding.

Yes, rice pudding. I might not have a room of my own, or even a foot of my own, but at least I know I have rice pudding neither kid likes. Rice pudding of my own. It’s what I’ve been reduced to.

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2 responses

  • Ugh, how awful!! I hope L is feeling better soon! We’re only suffering from a minor cold over here, so luckily no whining or clinginess, just forever drippy nose.

    I totally hear you though about needing personal space. Wanna runaway for a weekend?

  • **Hugs**

    Sick children are a test, cuz you feel so bad for them yet they can drain you and leave you feeling just as bad.

    (I wish I could tell you parenting gets easier, but mine are 18 and 24, and it’s still a … challenge. And yes, I’m still hoping one day I’ll have that ‘personal space’ return – now we have the kids AND their friends intruding. )

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