Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Spacing Out

I'm feeling a little claustrophobic today. Everywhere I turn there are little feet following me, like I have four shadows instead of one.

I've said it before. My house is small. About 1100 square feet. Usually, we make it work just fine. But has been different. Could it be the discovery that Baby has grown 2 3/4 inches since January?

Sad, but true.

This morning I was having my slaves, I mean, children help with the laundry before we started school. Brother and Sister were in the living room folding the whites. I heard the buzzer on the dryer and walked to the laundry room to empty it. You've seen pictures of my laundry room. There is about a 12"x12" square of floor to stand on. I stand in that spot, lean over and grab a huge armload of laundry to dump on the couch for the slaves, I mean, children to fold. Apparently that little patch of floor is a prime location for eating bananas because Baby decided to do just that right next to my feet. As I turn to deliver the armload, which is blocking my view of my feet and the floor beneath me, I trip over her, knocking her over and almost killing myself in an effort to keep from squashing her like a cute, little bug. Clean laundry falls on a not-so-clean floor. Re-wash it? Of course not! Pick it up, dust it off and deliver it to the couch.

Phase two of our productive morning: Table Time. This is the hour in the morning we spend on "book learnin' ". We do our workbooks, worksheets and other things that involve writing or drawing. With three people calling my name and needing my attention, most of this time is a blur. But one part I remember vividly is Baby fussing about being at the table with us. After trying to appease her with various things, I finally let her down to get into whatever trouble she is sure to find. Brilliant move on my part. She is toddling around the kitchen and wanders into the laundry room. Then she comes back into the kitchen and I hear a thud. She is standing there rubbing her eye, but not crying. I'm thinking she bumped her head or her eye or something, but since she's not wailing I give her a quick "Aw, are you okay?" and try to control the Play Doh chaos that is erupting at the table. Pretty soon she scurries up to the bench with Sister and Brother and starts clamoring for some Play Doh. They're all playing and making a grand mess when I turn and notice Baby's face. There is something red all over it. At first I thought she had tried to shove red Play Doh up her nose. But upon closer inspection I discover her nose has been bleeding and she has smeared it all over.

10:00 a.m. and we're rockin' and rollin'.

Fast forward to lunchtime. I make the kids bean burritos, serve them and they begin eating. Then I make my lunch. By the time I sit down, Brother has downed his and wants another. I hop up and start to make him one. He gets up and comes to stand on top of me...I mean, right next to me.
"Hey, Mom, where's my Kool-Aid?" he asks.
"It's in that pitcher in the sink. I just have to finish stirring it."
"I'll do it." He begins to stir.
There are just enough beans left to make Brother's burrito.
Sister chimes in from the table, "Mommy, I want another, too!"
"I don't want to stir anymore," says Brother. He spies me stealing beans from his tortilla and putting some on half a tortilla for Sister. He is right up next to me, sticking his face in it all. "Is there enough?"
I'm feeling a little irritated. "Yes, go sit down."
"Are you sure? I'm really hungry."
"Yes, sit down." I take his to the microwave which is located in my spacious laundry room. I stand on my little square of floor space and lean over the laundry hamper to pop it in. Brother, being the inquisitive and very obedient child he is, is right there, observing all the incredibly interesting details of microwaving canned refried beans and a little cheese on a tortilla. Fascinating stuff.
"GO SIT DOWN!" I say sweetly. And he promptly does.
I return to the kitchen to pour them Kool-Aid and he is right back up, invading my space.


I finally get Brother's and Sister's second helping finished and sit down to eat my lunch, when Baby, who is finished eating, is crying, reaching for me and saying, "Na Na!", which means "night-night" or "I want to go to bed NOW!"

I scarf down my lunch with Baby on my lap, whining and trying to lift up my shirt. All you nursing moms know what that means, right? And I dream of wide open spaces, where my children can scream and yell outside the 3 feet circumference around me.

Who am I kidding? It wouldn't matter how much space I have, they are going to be underfoot for a while. And really, I guess I'm glad for that.

But in the meantime, maybe I can get Ty What's-His-Name with the washboard abs to come makeover my house, Extreme-style.

Dear Ty and the Extreme Makeover Home Edition Team,

I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of three very large, very loud,
very energetic children and wife to a man with huge feet. We are
squished like sardines. Please come build us a really, really big house
1. our children grow more and the house actually explodes
2. I am forced to check myself into the nearest looney bin.


P.S. Never mind. I think the looney bin sounds wonderful. I'll
have a private room, right?


Heth said...

I feel ya!

I have been known to yell out "PERSONAL SPACE!" Because they are all on me at once. Why is that?

I hope Ty calls you right up and gives you a house built for a queen. Or at least a laundry room for a queen. You deserve it.

LiteratureLover said...

I sometimes think that I must lead the most amazing life because my kids always want to see what I'm doing.

And just so you know, even when they're older they will still want to be right behind you (eavesdropping)!

Michelle said...

I only have two that want ON ME all the time. But even still I had a dentist appointment to get some drilling done. I sat in the dentist chair and went *aaaahhhhhhh*

Anonymous said...

Supermom - it's 8:12 pm, daddy is at work, I came up to check email for the first time today, and middleman runs up saying "mommy, there's an emergency! Little man is cooking his lightsaber in the microwave." When I got was FLAMING ! ! Nice. If I wasn't so panicked, I would have thought to have taken a that Dr. Phil will actually believe me when husband calls the show in desperation of his wife whose summers at home get more interesting with each year that passes! I hate Star Wars! RZ

Karmyn R said...

I didn't know there was such a thing as personal space...does it really exist and where can I find it - I'll buy it if I have to!!
(Wait - oh yeah, that is why I make hair appointments!)

Mama of 2 said...

Someone must have forgotten to e-mail you the mommy memo that states there is NO such thing as personal space from pregnancy until they leave for college.

jesprincess said...

You are so funny. It has just been that kind of day hasn't it.

Mommy the Maid said...

Oh wow what a day. I've been there and done that. I love you letter, how could washboard abs, I mean Ty, refuse that plea?

shannon @ rocks in my dryer said...

Yes, yes PERSONAL SPACE! *sigh* Will we ever have it again?

But Momma said...

I loved your post today! I'm having just the opposite problem and you inspired me to answer your post with a little problem of my own. :)

Good fun!

~Jennifer said...

Oh no you don't! I get Ty first. I'm homeschooling FOUR kids in an 1100 square foot house. You'll have to get in line. ;-)

Milehimama said...

I feel your pain, sister.
Two years ago, we had 4 children age 4 and under. We lived in a two bedroom dungeon, uh, lower level apartment that was 750 sq. ft. I remember thinking how wonderful the wide open spaces of our next rental, 1086 sq. ft., would be. Add 2 more children and an occasional brother in law. We are moving in a week to new digs, across country - 1500 sq. ft. but more importantly, ALMOST AN ACRE of backyard! Yay! I might let the kids in to use the bathroom. I think we'll do Charlotte Mason next year. Out back. All year.

Diana said...

personal space? What is that? *frantically looking for dictionary*

Bttrfly1976 said...

TY is too cute, little goofy perhaps, but cute none-the-less. I feel ya on the personal space. I have to work on that with the kids and tell them continually "My space.....your space." That just makes them think it funnier to hang all over me.

jessica said...

We can get a semi-private room and share! I'm always griping at my kiddos about infringing on my personal space! :) They don't seem to get it... they are only 8 and 5... hopefully they get it figured out before long!

Clemntine said...

#1: I have wondered how to go about faking a nervous breakdown just to get a week in bed with room service. Y'all think I'm kidding. I'm not.

#2: I used to complain about not being "popular". I sat by myself at lunch, on the bus, etc. Oh, the BLISS!! If I had only known the true perils of popularity...I can take most of it, most of the time, but the clambering of Stage Door Johnnies outside the portal to the Throne Room makes me long for the days of anonymous solitude.

LOVE the post. Gotta go. The WiFi reception here behind the crisper drawer of the fridge is sketchy.

Gina said...

I feel your pain....and I have it too! I think all stay-at-home moms...especially those of us who homeschool (and with hubbies who work/go to school, generally gone a lot) get that claustraphobic feeling once in a while (if not daily). Yes, even when your kids are older will you be plagued with this. So it is written, so it shall come to pass.

Hey, I hope you don't mind that I put a link to you on my site. I love your blog and think my friends will too! If you do, let me know and I will make it disappear!!

thebarefootpoet said...

What's the difference between Brittney Spears and Kelly Clarkson?

Love ya : )

HeartsDesire said...

I'll I can say is ROFLOL.

Cheerio's on my butt? said...

All these years I have lived in small spaces and felt the same way you do! Until a year a go. We bought a big farm house with a farm. Cool right? no. To make you feel better, they are still under foot and loud and crowding me, but guess what's different: I get a lot more house to clean! Yay. I envy you.