Friday, September 26, 2008

Space Invaders

I recently read a post over at the hysterical June Cleaver Nirvana blog on the subject of young children and the frazzled mothers who are tied to them with invisible umbilical chords. For several years after my children were born, I was confused or sleep deprived, or both. I thought when they let dads cut those chords in the hospital before you brought baby home, the fleshy ropes were permanently severed. But I've been wrong about so many things.

Thinking on the subject of mothers and that close physical proximity they have with their offspring until they reach teenagehood, I remembered clearly the suffocating feeling of having no private space of one's own. For a long time, I couldn't imagine there would come a day when my three little cling-ons would unvelcro themselves from me and actually function as autonomous beings. I mean, I called them "my precious hemorrhoids" for years, I hate to admit now.

Anyway, you can read here what got me thinking about all this. Be sure to note the helpful diagrams. June Cleaver Nirvana: An issue of space

In a domino effect of remembered events -- or maybe it's just more brain cells dying off -- a story about my youngest son came to mind. Court Jester (CJ) whom you read about yesterday involving an incident at nursery school [the same school in which he forged my cursive initials signature with a circle around ...except in red crayon...on his "D" conduct grade for the week, the first week in the big 4-year-old class] was the biggest space invader of my kids. But he didn't just contain his clingyness to Mom. It extended to perfect strangers sometimes too.

In an effort to train this bad habit out of CJ, I brought home a hula hoop one day and made him walk around with it for about an hour, holding it over his body with his arms down, akin to a gigantic hoop skirt. "The space inside the hula is your space, CJ," I patiently and hopefully explained. "And the space outside of the hoop belongs to other people. Understand?" He mumbled something I didn't quite understand, then ran off to play with his siblings in the backyard.

After loading the dishwasher, I looked out of the window, and there sat Queenie (his older sister) and Fresh Prince (CJ's older brother)...and yes, everyone in the house has a name with royal connotations except me, the Scullery Wench...sitting on the ground inside Court Jester's hula hoop. He'd told them Mom said they had to stay inside the circle, and all the space outside of it was his.

So much for parental instruction using innovative methods. Oh, how I wanted to incorporate a little "hands on" explanation at that moment.


Terri Tiffany said...

He will be quite the leader some day!! LOL! I read her post about the clinging kids and thought so true. MY daughter is flying across the country today from Seattle to PA and she can't wait to be alone (she has 1-year-old) I well remember those feelings!

Kathryn Magendie said...

GUFFAAAW!!! aw lawd! now that's funny - the signature,too...heeheehee....

That cord kinda stays around even when they are grown up and gets tugged every now and then and Mom says "what's wrong? are you okay? can I help?"

Janna Qualman said...

I totally relate to this post, Angie, both with the close relationship between mother and child, so hard to sever, and with having a strong-willed, mind-of-their-own kidlet.

Good post!

Melissa Marsh said...

Hahaha - I love how all that space outside the hoop was his! Too funny.

There are times when I literally go and hide in my bedroom downstairs. All three children are upstairs and can take care of themselves just fine, but I need to ESCAPE! (Especially the teeangers!)

Angie Ledbetter said...

Terri, when they get their wheels and wings, ya kinda wish for a day or two of that childhood closeness again, huh?

Yes, you can't ever cut it completely, Kat. And that's a good thing. Moms will always have that sixth sense with their babies, no matter how old they are.

Janna, our strong willed, individualistic (is that a word?), creative kids will always surprise us and make us proud of their ability to think outside the box (or hula hoop). LOL

Melissa, the tub's a good place to hide too. I'll be writing another post soon about stuff like that. ;)

BClark said...

So funny, and as my children are much older I can look back at those incidents and be amused. Being in the middle of them, not so funny.
I read your comment over at Whole Latte Life about part time job. On Good Morning America they had a list of work at home jobs. One of them was called elance, and it might be something for you to check into. Just a thought.


Angie Ledbetter said...

Thanks so much, Barbara. I've heard of elance, but maybe I need to take another look.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love it(him). At times the "hands-on" approach works pretty good. Sometimes it is even asked for. It would be a shame to deprive them of the pleasure.
PW - I don't scare very easily. Old country red-neck kind of guy.

The Paper Whisperer said...

Tell your "Court Jester" I applaud him and that's what I call thinking out side the....hoop. Sure wish he was in on the debate tonight instead of one of the others.

RedNeck-my bite is WAY WORSE than my bark....ask AL. lol

Angie Ledbetter said...

Oren, you're so right...'bout lots of things. LOL

PW, did you bite me and I forgot? Nah, you're just a toothless lap dog to me. Nice & sweet...with just a little spice thrown in for interest and flavor.

colbymarshall said...

LOL_ leave it to them to turn it around That's too funny!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Still doing it as a teenager. ;)

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