I Need to Socially Distance From My Kids

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They fight over chargers. They fight over V bucks.

They fight over Poptarts. They fight over chores. They fight in a box, they fight with a fox. They fight and argue here and there, they fight and argue anywhere. I do not like this fighting, you see, so I beg them, beg them, let me be!

You know that car crash fantasy that moms have?

The dream that you’re injured enough to need to stay in the hospital for a few days, but not so badly hurt that your life shifts or you lose a limb? That’s the one.

When we want a break from our kids so desperately that we’d be willing to sustain bodily injury in exchange for a few days in a bed we don’t have to share eating meals we didn’t have to make.

I’ve been thinking about that fantasy a lot lately.

I don’t doubt the seriousness of pandemics and unknown viruses, and I don’t take them lightly, but I’m kind of starting to give it some side eye and wonder whether it’d be worth it. I’ve seen enough Grey’s Anatomy at this point to basically treat myself at home, right?

I need a break from my kids, y’all.

An extended, quiet, restful break with meals from restaurants I can’t take them to and movies they can’t see.

I love my kids, please understand me, but absence can’t make the heart grow fonder if they never freaking leave my side.

Time supposedly heals all wounds, but all this time with my kids is like pouring salt on my wounds. Then lemon juice. Then creating a new wound that tears open because I cannot take in one more freaking word about Fortnite.

I love my kids and they love me.

They love me so much that they cannot imagine being an arm’s length away – that’s simply too far. I thought I’d left the bathroom audiences behind with the toddler years, but no.

My teen and tweens think so highly of me that they’re willing to follow me into the can to settle an argument about something to do with Sarlacc pits.

I willingly ate Taco Bell for several days a week in order to have an excuse to spend more time in the bathroom.

I was content with taking my bowels to the edge of human capabilities, perfectly fine with testing the plumbing and not being able to sit comfortably for 3 days. I was genuinely happy to induce diarrhea so intense that it caused the teeniest bit of time travel, just to buy some alone time in my bathroom, rectum be darned.

But after all that sacrifice and sweat, the dang kids still followed me.

“Guys!” I exclaim, “Bathrooms are for farting, not fighting!”

But they do not listen (although they do fart). They do not leave. And based on the fact that it takes me 4 days to watch one show, they do not sleep.

Based on my experience being millimeters from their faces, they don’t do a very good job of brushing their teeth, either. We didn’t even have fishsticks, kid, why do you smell like them?!

I don’t understand how we can be together every moment of every day, and still they will fight over who gets to lay on me.

Actually lay ON me. It wasn’t enough to live in me for 9 months, they want to now be on me.

Close enough for me to smell their mysterious fishstick breath.

They want to be on me while I read, while I write, while I attempt to watch Netflix and sneak hidden candy.

They want to be on me while I lounge, while I work, while I sleep, while I text.

They want to be on me in the rain, they want to be on me in a train. They want to be on me here and there, they want to be on me everywhere!

It’s been a strange time for all of us, all experiencing global crises at the same time with no experience to guide us.

I don’t know how long this will last and I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that I did not feed my child fishsticks, and he is too dang close to me.

I think it’s time to enforce more social distancing… from my kids.

 

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