For once in my life, I am the most popular woman I know. Everyone wants a piece of me! I’m being stalked by the paparazzi and have people begging for my company in bed. I should be on top of the world, right?
Yeah… I’m not.
The paparazzi is my four-year-old daughter, who has spent so much time swiping my phone to take unflattering pictures of my nostrils as she brazenly demands me to, “Smile! Mama, smile for me” no matter what task I happen to be performing. Like changing a diaper or scraping a plate or tying my shoes. Even better, though she can’t read, she actually managed to upload one of these photos to my facebook page, thus revealing my triple chin and unkempt ponytail to the world, unleashing it like a gorgon’s yearbook photo.
Both of my older kids are begging me to sleep with them every night because they are “scared.” I’m happy on the nights when I can get them to bed without too much stalling and arm-clinging and such, but I also know that at least twice a week, one of them will magically appear next to me while I’m sleeping (in my own bed with my husband, who is not above begging me to come to bed, either), poking the small of my back with increasing intensity until I shed the thin veil of sleep and slur, “Whaddya doin’ ‘n here? Need ta potty? Ok. Then go. Don’ pee on my floor…”
“No, mommy… sleep wif me in MY bed. I’m scared.”
What’s happening in my house right now is the perfect storm of separation anxiety.
My six-year-old is quite a bright little man. So bright, in fact, that his IQ has outpaced his EQ by about three years, so he’s thinking up all sorts of horrible situations that lead to him being orphaned and alone, mainly missing me.
My four-year-old is finishing her first half-year of preschool, standing on the tight-wire stretched between wee little girl and little girl. Her independence is astounding, most of the time. But like all things, it is two steps forward, one step back until she steps over the line and become a school kid.
And the babies? Where to start… Well, they are almost nine months old, which is prime time for separation anxiety. One screams as if there is a scorpion in her cloth diaper every time I shift my focus from her and the other keens, “Mama! Mama!” from daddy’s lap if I leave the room.
Oh, to be so desired… OK. I know it just means that my kids have healthy attachments to me. Go me! But I have to admit that being the center of the universe for four people (five if you count the hubster) is overwhelming at times.
Although, none of them can beat my own anxiety issues. You see, hubby and I are taking our first trip away from the older kids. My mom is coming to watch them, and I have no doubt that they will be well cared for and loved, but we’ve never both been away from them at the same time before. I miss them when they're gone for a just a day -- how will I manage for five days?
Did I mention that we’ll be flying with the twins? Yeah… That’s the other reason for my anxiety. I’ve flown with kids before and gotten the “please don’t tell me you’re bringing those creatures following you on this plane” looks from other passengers. I can’t imagine the scowls we’ll be getting when we board with not one, but two infants.
They’ll only be topped by the glares we get when one of the twins realizes that mommy won’t be holding her and that she’ll have to settle for daddy. I think we’ll be dressing them alike in hopes of eeking a little patience from the “cute” factor. Because either way – the scorpion scream or the “Mama! Mama! Mama!” isn’t going to be pleasant.
And now I’ve made all of you who are traveling soon anxious, too, haven’t I? You’re just hoping I don’t show up at your gate… admit it!