Velcro Mom

Wendy Rhein

By: Wendy Rhein

If I were a superhero, I would be Velcro Mom. Who can leap over piles of laundry in a single bound (with a child hanging off her arm)? And debone a turkey with one hand (while the other is filling a sippy cup)? And who can type 60 words a minute – with one hand while blowing bubbles with the other?

It’s Velcro Mom!

I can’t remember when I last was able to spend a whole day of mundane tasks with both hands. I’m sure it happened, maybe four years ago, but I haven’t slept more than 6 hours in a row in two years so I can’t remember. I’d like to think I have but who the hell really knows.

My boys both want a lot of me right now, and they’re not willing to settle for my intellectual banter or pithy definitions to newly acquired words like “hot” or “disintegrate.” As a single mom, I don’t share this need for contact and hugs with another parent so I’m outnumbered. A zone defense instead of man to man. The younger one is in a mini-me stage with his big brother so if Nathan sits on my lap, Sam wants to sit on my lap. And not just on my lap but exactly where his brother is currently sitting. If Nathan is holding my hand, Sam wants to hold that same hand. You can see where this is going. And it doesn’t end well. I am mastering the art of “sharing Mama” which allows for both kids to be touching me at the same time. After a little while Nathan gets bored and will peel off but Sam wants to stick to me like, well, Velcro.

Literally as I type this, Sam is on my lap and I’m typing around him, struggling to read the screen over and around his head as he bobs and weaves, giggling, thinking we are playing a game. Nathan is at my feet, or actually ON my feet, under the desk.

I admit that there are days, normally late on Sunday afternoons during a long weekend, when I actually look forward to going to work where no one will tug on me. I love my kids, but I think my arms are two different lengths now, one to reach a 6-year-old, one longer to reach a 2-year-old. I wonder if I can put singlehanded multitasking on a resume.

I know the day is coming when I will get my two hands back to work together on the simple things – like cooking dinner or buttoning a shirt. I will be grateful for the physical independence and freedom. And I know that there will come a day when I will make the same face Sam does when I tell him no, he can’t sit in the shower with me, when I want to hug or kiss my boys in the carpool lane and they jump from the car before I can touch them. I will want to remind them of the days when they couldn’t get enough of me and they’ll roll their eyes and snicker. I will keep sharing my hands and arms and lap with them for as long as they will have me, and remind myself of these days when they walk away on their own.

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