De-evolution of cuddling

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A long time ago, when the earth was young, I liked to cuddle. You know, post coitus cuddling and rubbing. Chatting, conversing. Going to bed at the same time cuddling.

Me: "That was so great honey- Can I do anything else for you?"

No, that was a little joke. The truth is I DID like it. When my man went to bed...dammit, so did I. Apparently I thought there was a cosmic law which said
"If thou livest together, thou must go to bed at the same time, leaving optimal awake time for sex."

Now I growl at anyone who crosses the line onto my side of the bed. You think I joke? I make a DMZ line with my body pillow, which indicates "NO CROSSING ALLOWED."

The signs were there all along. One of our first "weekends" together, I was sleepy and said "Get on your side of the bed" to Terrance. These words are manna from heaven to him. He sputtered, "You mean you don't want to cuddle?"
"No", I mumbled, "I want to sleep."

We had just started dating, and I wasn't sure it was going anywhere, so I felt free to fly my flag of "no touching while sleeping".

When I was pregnant, my wrath was swift and mighty. There lives in our history a rather "infamous" night when he disturbed my complex pillow arrangement. Hell hath no fury like a six month pregnant woman whose pillows have been altered. Let's just say that someone left the bedroom in quite a hurry.

After having Emily, the continual touching was KEEL-ING me. She demanded to be held ALL THE TIME. If she didn't have a boob in the mouth, then she would only sleep on your belly. As a new nursing mom, my mobility was limited anyway, cause how do you get these things to work with the right latch on and holds and is she getting anything? I only lasted 2 weeks before I started pumping so a bottle could be given at least once a day. I needed a break from the touching.

The worst night came when she was 4 months or so. It was midnight. Saturday. She is nursing and I am sitting in bed, watching TV. Terrance is dead asleep beside me, his leg thrown over mine. The cat, Keillor, is asleep on my foot. There is not a space on my body which I can claim as my own. I fight the urge to run screaming from the room to lock my self in a deprivation chamber. I can only imagine that the look on my face was pure evil. I muttered, "If one more fucking thing touches me, I will lose my fucking mind." I also muttered, "I hate you, you miserable son of a bitch" at Terrance who didn't seem to have any problem falling asleep.

Yeah, maybe it was a little of the depression talking, but some was the touching.

So, what does fate deign to give me? A child with Sensory Integration Dysfunction - Sensory Seeking. Emily CRAVES pressure and touch. Here I am, running from too much touching, here she is Touching me. I suspect it is life's little joke to give me a child who is the exact opposite of me - but alike enough to be a bad ass.

(she just ran in here to throw her arms around my neck - squeeze my neck until circulation is cut off, kiss and then run away)

And how do I wake up nearly every morning? With Emily laying on my back - legs thrown over me, burrowed under the body pillow. Terrance gave up long ago. He sleeps on the futon by himself almost every night. I am smashed into a corner of the bed, arms and legs akimbo, vainly gripping onto my body pillow to give me some space. For eight years this month, I have been doing this unholy dance with my daughter. I love her, but GOD!

Maybe it's my age. Maybe it's motherhood. But for the love of all that is sacred, stay your ass on your side of the bed.*

(*Unless invited - ID's will be checked at the door)

17 Baleful Regards:

Jaelithe said...

Hehe. I am sorta touch-a-phobic myself at times, and I remember when I was nursing all the time my sense of personal space was also greatly heightened. My poor husband probably still to this day does not truly understand where all his cuddling went, or why I am no longer turned on at all by someone grabbing my boobs.

I actually like snuggling with my son quite a bit if it's daytime. But he drives me nuts when I'm trying to sleep and he happens to be in my bed with me and he wants to crawl under my shirt, or smoosh his head into my chest.

I swear, this kid of mine wants to crawl back into the womb at bedtime. Maybe he was meant to be a marsupial.

oshee said...

I can't sleep if my husband is touching me. It has always been this way. I can fall asleep trying to cuddle with one of the kids, but I don't sleep well. Especially since it is something about little ones. They cannot sleep laying properly in the bed, they must turn horizontally and force mom and dad onto the floor. I can completely relate.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a big cuddler. Nothing weird about maintaining some personal space, in my opinion.

You know this means that if we ever meet I'm going to hug you long and hard. And then you can bring up my reproductive organs and we can share an awkward moment alleviated only by the timely appearance of two glasses of wine.

Anonymous said...

I want to witness the awkward Dawn-Jess hugging moment. I will pay good money.

I am not a big touchy-feely person, and Rosie's like me for the most part. But I do love it when she climbs in my lap to lay her head down for a few moments -- and then runs off again. Just about the right duration and level of affection.

mamatulip said...

Dude. I was thinking about this last night as I was falling asleep. Dave came in to bed and I found myself inching further and further away from him. I used to roll over and bury myself into his back when he got into bed. I used to roll over and kiss him in the mornings when we woke up. Now I'm too busy poking him in the back and telling him his morning breath is making my face melt.

Anonymous said...

yeah, I'm a L.D.H (Latter Day Hugger) meaning, I caught on to this "girls hug" thing much later b/c I hung ut w/ guys for so long.

I swear, if you saw jess & I "hug it out"-- maybe it's just me, but sometimes I think we're staring at each other just before we go in for the hug like, "um, can we just pat each other lightly on the back and call it even? or maybe punch each other in the arm like guys do?"

as far as snuggling goes - time and place. I do get up in mike's space - but that is more about me buggin him, which is always a good time.
And I'll break form for nieces and nephews tho.

Andrea said...

Nothing wrong with personal space. I don't mind the snuggle usually. But after a few minutes, I want him to get on his damn side of the bed. Maybe I should try your body pillow idea. My dearest has decided he's only comfortable if he's sleeping diagonal, with his feet on my side. Which means if I want to lay on my back ~ how I'm most comfortable ~ I have to kick him out of my way. I've gotten so frustrated that I'm getting good at the kicking. I don't relish it because I love him and hate that i have to kick him to get him to move, but all is fair in love and bedtime.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I never know whether to hug or not. Do you hug when you see each other every week? There needs to be a set of hugging guidelines.

Mignon said...

Yes! What Jess said. Can't there be some kind of rules, like the handshake rules (how much pressure, how many pumps). I suck at the hugging system.

And I'm with you with the night touching. If I even feel a toe on my side I start donkey kicking.

This brought back memories of pregnancy like nothing else ever will: "Hell hath no fury like a six month pregnant woman whose pillows have been altered." The pillows. Shit. The pillows.

Anonymous said...

That's normal, right?

Otherwise, I have SERIOUS personal space issues. I cried tears of joy the day we put together the king size bed and I could not even FIND my husband. Oh, sweet solitude.

My least favorite thing, though? Ankles touching ankles. All that bone on bone action makes me want to scream.

Anonymous said...

King sized bed saved my marriage! I don't mind so much the kid - she just likes to sleep with her back against my back - but 250+ pounds of 6'2" just about crushes me no matter how sweet he is trying to be. I absolutely need the personal space to sleep. Interestingly, my husband doesn't seem to have trouble keeping kids, etc., off his side. hmmmmm....

Meghan said...

Oh My God Dawn,

I could have written this post. When I was sleep deprived in the early baby days and Jim would flop a leg over on me I would seethe with hatred and hiss out a venom mist meant to inflict the worst pain imaginable. And wathcing them sleep? I have never in my life wanted to punch the shit out of another human in my entire life.
My husband always wants to go to bed at the same time. HE GOES TO BED AT 9:00 P.FuckingM.

I lost any desire to snuggle when I had a baby. Now my motto is "Disturb my sleep and I will lose my shit so badly you will be afraid of the visage of my face for all of eternity".

Sugarmama said...

"Hell hath no fury..."--ha! Love that. I'll still cuddle for a few minutes, I guess, but then it gets all sweaty and icky and I'm over it. Now that you mention it, I DO remember sleeping all glommed onto my husband once upon a time. Wonder when that stopped...

Anonymous said...

Jeff and I still cuddle right up until the moment I'm ready to go to sleep, then there is no touching. In the morning when I wake up I'll spoon him for a few cycles of the snooze alarm too, just not when I'm sleping.

halloweenlover said...

Oh no, I'm a touchaphobe too, but I'd never considered this in terms of a child! EEK!

Julie Marsh said...

I think I wrote a post about my non-touchy-feely nature too. I am all about personal space. Rest assured, I will not be doling out the hugs at BlogHer.

I like to snuggle my girls now, but when they were newborns, I really needed them to just leave me alone now and then. And I sure as hell didn't want anyone ELSE (read: Kyle) touching me once I finally regained rights to my own limbs.

I usually don't mind sharing a bed with Tacy, but CJ literally sleeps on my head on the rare occasions that she sleeps with us. I can hear her little heartbeat racing, right in my ear.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind cuddling and touching, persoanally. But my son, he's also a sensory-seeking SID kid. He actually likes it for me to lie flat on top of him with all my weight—and I outweigh him by 100 pounds. My husband, though? Lie on him and he says, "oogh, you're crushing me!"

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