By "on me" I mean that my body is being used as a toddler playground - slash - ultimate fighting ring.
I am routinely kicked, climbed over, punched in the head. Last night, somehow a plastic bottle was launched into the air and landed square across my cheek. It didn't actually hurt but still, I was struck in the face with a foreign object by my child. Isn't that like an episode of Oprah or something?
I don't wear earrings because they are not actually jewelry - they are toddler levers and pullies. I might look nice at 10am with my dainty drop earrings off-setting my nicely done hair, but by 11:30, my ear lobes are a bloodied torn mess and each child is clutching one earring in their thieving little hands.
That’s when they decide my hair needs to be combed into a bun and they start running their dirty hands through it and lopping piles of it on top of my head and admiring each others handy work (Doesn’t Mommy look like Princess Aurora?”) until it is a mess of tangles and I look like a cross between Ronald McDonald and Phyllis Diller .
Oh and necklaces. Necklaces are not really pretty adornments meant to show off my bosom. No, necklaces are meant to attract small children with their shininess. Necklaces are like Jim Jones and my children are members of the cult (“Touch me. I am shiny. Drink the Kool Aid.”)
Necklaces, my children believe, are vines meant for monkeys to swing on and zoom through the jungle, pulling on Mommy’s back until either my spine cracks and completely breaks apart from my body, like drift wood, or the necklace breaks into thousands of little tiny beads all over the floor, which means I will have to get on my hands and knees to pick up the thousands of little tiny beads.
And this will inspire another of their favorite past times - jumping on my back and riding me like the mule that I am. Why is being on my knees on the floor an open invitation to ride me like a barn yard animal? I don’t know the answer to this, but it never fails.
And there are the stains on my clothes. I can put on a perfectly clean outfit and within 12 minutes, one child will run into me with pommegranate juice, covering me in black, un-washable, forever-staining liquid or she’ll wipe her snotty nose on my pant leg or try to paint my ass pink with a loaded paint brush or wipe oatmeal on my sleeve because they don’t have a napkin within two inches of their persons and it doesn’t dawn on them they should, you know, ask me for one.
Yesterday, Edie dumped hot chocolate down my blouse. It was hot.
After returning home after a long hard day of fun and treats, the kids often look at me with their sad, weepy faces, arms extended pathetically into the air, requesting that I pick them up and carry them the last two feet to the front door. This is a funny occurrence, that they both need to be picked up and carried the last few feet home, because if their friends rounded the corner at that very second and shouted their name, they would jump up and scream and start running madly toward their friend with a burst of energy so enormous that it could only be generated by the sun itself.
But when they are with me, they can barely push their tired, worn-out bodies down the corridor and I must carry each one of their limp, lifeless, whining bodies in my arms, while pushing a stroller no one wants to sit in and a gi-normous bag of toys, fresh underpants and old half-eaten snacks, that is also weighed down with mounds of dirt in a plastic shopping bag that we must bring home because it’s not really dirt, but magic fairy dust.
And this is why it takes us 20 minutes to walk the 50 feet from the elevator to our front door.
You might wonder why I don’t say, "You are big girls. You can walk" when they beg to be carried. And sometimes I do. The plan goes to hell though when one or both of them uses the highly effective "Mommy, hold me," uttered in the most sad and pathetic voice ever to hit sound waves and used in conjunction with a noticeably quivering lip and watery puppy eyes.
It would be infuriating to be so obviously manipulated, except that it is so incredibly brilliant. I am amazed by it's beautiful execution, with just the right amount of manipulation, neediness and affection so perfectly designed to pull at my biological need to mother. I am humbled, not only by the impact of their deeds, but also by their seamless and unapologetic execution.
My kids are like little maniacal geniuses. It’s like a free pass to CarryMeVille.
And don't get me started on the breastfeeding. As Edie gets older, her affection for my breasts increases. My boobs are no longer my own. There has been a vast right/left wing conspiracy to rid me of my breasts. There is a pecking order now(and prepare yourself, feminists everywhere will flinch as they read this) – First, they are Edie’s and then, David has some kind of claim on them and by the time, they get to me, I am done with them except for taking them to get a mammogram to make sure they aren’t diseased.
Now, even Lucy has staked a claim on them.
Lucy? Did you hear me say Lucy? Lucy who refused to breast feed and the very sight of my boobs made her ask me to cover him, lest they accidentally reach out and touch her with their nipples extending out at her like scary octopus arms?
Apparently, Lucy now thinks my breasts make good puppets.
Last week, Lucy entertained Edie by making each of my breasts speak to each other in Spanish. She grabbed one boob, pulled it out of my shirt before I knew what she was doing and moved it up and down saying, “Como se llama?” and then, she grabbed the other breast and moved it up and down and said, Me llamo Boob.”
And then she and Edie thought my talking breasts were like the funniest thing they had ever seen and they laughed uncontrollably on the floor for the next 15 minutes begging me to let them do it again.
I declined. We're getting Lucy a real puppet theatre for her birthday. Obviously she needs one.
PS: Lucy and Edie just walked over here as I was writing this and asked what I was writing about and I told them I was writing about how they made my boobs speak Spanish and the two of them started laughing hysterically and Lucy said, "Making your boobs speak Spanish is funny, Mommy."