I’m not going to lie- morale is low today. I’m not sure why; just one of those days. This post may be little more than a complaint session, one-sided therapy appointment, or emotional purge. That being said, I still need to get it off my chest.

First off, Daylight Savings can suck it. The kids are fried by seven p.m., but they are still up at six in the morning, which sure, feels like seven in their bodies, but it is not. If we’re going to bed later, why are we not sleeping later?

I went to bed at 8:30 to attempt to get at least one decent block of sleep. The baby, who had made a tremendous amount of progress, had regressed over the past week and was waking up for a feeding earlier and earlier in the night. Due to her fever, runny nose, and unfortunate diaper problems, I did not feel comfortable letting her wail, and succumbed without a fight to her sign language accompanied pleas to “na”. (Nurse. To those unfamiliar, the sign for “milk” looks like one is milking a cow. Which is pretty much what I am, so it works out.)

My oldest daughter, six years old and fully capable of sleeping all night without bothering the shit out of us, has taken to traipsing through our bedroom, draped in a blanket, to use our bathroom. She has slid through this loophole because she is not actually talking to us, but we still wake up to view the disturbing sight of her shuffling, covered head to toe in what we now refer to as e-coli blanket (who brings bedding into the bathroom? Can you say “unsanitary”?) to pee. Have I mentioned this little habit of hers before? I am too tired to remember. Either way, this behavior must stop. Soon.

So it is not surprising that I would wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Which, today, I literally did as the boob-hound had taken over my usual sleeping space. I was irritable to note the time, 5:53 a.m. and tried to go back to sleep while the girls played around me. That worked until the toddler yanked the alarm clock off the table, and the big girl, who should know better, was trying to entice her baby sister to play with the lamp. What’s with the sabotage?

Noting that both their noses were running, I realized that I couldn’t even tell if this was a symptom of last week’s cold or if we were getting yet another infection. I felt defeated, helpless, and resigned to the fact that our household was doomed to be forever unhealthy, and never fully rested.

What I would rather be doing right now. Sigh.

The good news was, I had over an hour and a half to saturate my system with coffee. I attempted to use this extra time to eat breakfast at the computer while the little one was safely strapped into her high chair and the big one, done eating, was reading a chapter book independently at the table. Breathing yet another premature sigh of relief, I sat down to relax on Twitter with my coffee and oatmeal.

I felt something pressing against my back. My six year old had somehow snuck into my chair and was rubbing herself against me, murmuring, “I love you mommy, I love you!” Cute, right? Endearing? Wrong. I realized in that moment as I experienced a sick feeling in my stomach that I was “touched out.” Does anyone else ever have this feeling? A mom put it into words for me this past year, and though it fortunately doesn’t happen often, when it does I know I am in trouble.

It means: Mommy needs some alone time. Ideally, Mommy needs a good night of sleep, but at the very least, she needs to NOT BE TOUCHED.

I ignored the inappropriate rubbing until my daughter threw herself upon me, inadvertently brushing against my boobs, which had already seen a lot of action in the past 24 hours. And not in the fun way.

“Izzy!” I snapped, “Please don’t touch Mommy right now!” Immediately I was overcome by waves of guilt, and I tried to remind myself that it is ok to crave some personal space on bad days.

Fortunately for me, this was one of the 3 days a week when I dropped the little one off at childcare, and didn’t pick her up until several hours after I finished teaching, leaving me with that much needed alone time. After teaching a few music classes, which succeeded in boosting my spirits, but did little for my intense craving for personal space, I rushed home, slammed the door, and fervently debated which self-comfort practice to engage in first: grabbing some Halloween candy or putting on my pajama pants?

I settled for tossing a bite size Snickers into my mouth on my way up the stairs. Apparently, that idea we had about donating the leftover Halloween candy to the troops fell by the wayside. (Hangs head in shame.)

Candy= Therapy
So my mission: replenish my body and spirit in three hours, so that when I pick up my two children, I am no longer touched out.  I will now go about comforting myself in whatever ways necessary- writing, stretching, meditating, candy marathon-ing, taking a hot bath, watching crappy TV shows- so that I will be fully present and available when my girls are ready to shower me with love. Or poop.
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