As I get older, I have come to realize that the personal space I once took for granted is becoming more and more scarce. Before I was married, I had on average, personal space in the 16 square foot range, give or take a few feet depending on where I was at any given time (make that three inches by three inches for crowded bars, dance floors or concerts – activities I once enjoyed but can no longer participate in.)
Beginning in ’98 (coincidentally the year I was married) my personal space has diminished by at least 4 to 6 inches each year, leaving it at the current “0” I now enjoy.
Every day is a battle for space.
Alex, the 16-month-old gets first dibs on taking residence in my space – my butt to be specific. Maybe it’s his height (or lack of) or the sheer vastness of it – either way, he has staken his claim on it. As the smallest but most vocal, the journey to the center of my sphincter begins upon waking. He spends a little time stretching out his limbs in preparation for his stay and then proceeds to climb right up my ass and remain there until I have to pry him off at daycare. The removal technique is a battle of wits between me, the staff and the young man.
We are sometimes forced to use psyops tactics to trick him: they might include distraction techniques ranging from a miniature “Cookie Monster” action figure to the “what’s in the freezer” dance. Occasionally these passive measures work, but more often than not, a painful extraction method must be used that requires additional personnel, pliers and the strategic use of “The Itsy, Bitsy Spider.” This is serious business, people.
If parasite number one has been successfully removed, it is on to parasite number two: five-year-old Lily. Don’t let the batting eyelashes fool you: this is one tough mother to outmaneuver. Much larger than her younger brother, this butt-leech is full of girly wiles and can outsmart any seasoned vet. Each morning brings a new terror, from a minor freak-out such as clinging to my legs as I attempt to leave, to a full-on psycho-hissy-fit-meltdown.
And let me warn you, do not underestimate the tearful, “Mommy I don’t want you to go” stealth move. It starts with the welling of the eyes, quivering of the lip, to an all expense-paid guilt trip of epic proportions. I have fallen for this more than once and it always leads to a worrisome trip to work only to find the crying stopped five seconds after I left. My backend is often quite agitated after one of these episodes.
What is so amazing to me, is that even with these monstrous lumps attached to my ass, there are those who think I have additional room for them to just climb on in. Whether it be a large SUV that thinks my driving a pleasant 10 miles over the posted speed isn’t enough, to the old and oblivious shoppers AND their shopping carts – I seem to be the most desirable real estate in town.
What does a person have to do to get some damned space?
Perhaps you want to scoff at my complaints. Maybe you think I should feel lucky to be used as a crotch-hat while making dinner, or maybe I should enjoy tripping over little limbs as they cling to me like a life preserver in the perfect storm? Should I count my blessings that pools of sweat collect around me as tiny heat-generating bodies jockey for a position in my every crevice?
I do try to have perspective and enjoy my lack of personal space, because I know that while it’s painful now to make a sharp corner, there will come a time when my butt will become an undesirable place.
Until then, I will continue to make efforts to increase the surface area so all can be accommodated.