One of the special gifts Ellie definitely inherited from me was my uncompromising need for personal space. I have a very defined 3-foot bubble that surrounds me at all times and if penetrated I start to scream like a hyena in my head.
I don’t really like hugs or kisses, and any boyfriend who made the tragic mistake of putting his arm around me has since spent a significant amount of time learning how to write with a hook.
It’s really a shame that Ellie has a similar need for space, though, because she’s the one person who I could literally smother to death with hugs and kisses. She doesn’t hug and she certainly doesn’t kiss anything but her plastic baby and the only time she’s ever cuddled is the two times she woke up sick in the middle of the night.
Does it make me a bad person if I put some epicac in her dinner every once in a while?
The highest form of affection she’ll offer is what we refer to as “The Pat” – a rare straight-armed pat on the shoulder. And once in a GREAT while she’ll sit on my lap for 10 seconds while I read her a book. She loves books, but she prefers to sit next to me while I read. Not touching, of course.
She has recently made one exception.
Every time I go to the bathroom – which is somewhere between 342 and 567 times a day – she decides it’s time to get in some good quality lap time. She has some sort of superhuman radar and immediately notices if I walk into the bathroom and quickly follows me and hops on my lap.
Have you ever tried to poop when someone is sitting on your lap? It’s physically impossible. I can barely poop when the neighbors are home, let alone when someone is looking me in the eye and breathing on my damn cheek.
I’ll pull out every distractor I can find – I’ll put on a movie, surround her in books and release some caged circus monkeys into the playroom but apparently nothing is as interesting as sitting on my lap while I’m on the toilet.
About five seconds after I make my stealth escape I’ll see a little pair of eyes peeking in the crack and then four fat little fingers curl around the door. She’ll toddle in and pat my knees until I pick her up and put her on my lap.
And then it’s over.
Defeated, we’ll walk back into the playroom, me doubled over with my stomach in knots and her running away from me because I’m following too close behind.
So that’s awesome.