I'm supposed to be studying, but I've just dumped Twelve off my lap after a prolonged session cuddling in the Big Blue Chair. Twelve calls it cuddling, but really it's like trying to ... metaphors fail me. It's like trying to hold a five-foot, nine-inch, 120-pound* person on your lap. Who squirms. Who accidentally-on-purpose sticks her hand in your armpit. Who simply must rotate 180 degrees every so often without standing up and thinks this is hilarious. Who sneezes without making the least effort to cover.
Last week, one of the other volleyball team moms mentioned that she takes advantage of opportunities to braid her daughter's hair because the girl has started to avoid physical contact with her mom. In a rare moment of maturity, I didn't mention that Twelve still likes occasional hugs and chair sitting, and almost always demands her bedtime back rubs. Score ten mature points for me.
I'm definitely going through some sort of phase, though: I'm not feeling the magic like I used to. I'm just feeling the weight of a somewhat stinky person whose elbow always seems to end up in my boob. I'm tired at night and the back-rubbing demands are getting old. Also, I really should be studying - of course my doctoral preliminary exams would end up being scheduled for the same week as a symposium, a board meeting, and a series of hiring committee interviews.
It's not that I am in a hurry for Twelve to grow out of this; I definitely get that it's still a super important and awesome stage. I don't even particularly dislike the squirming; my boobs are pretty squishy and her elbows aren't quite as lethally pointy as mine. I could do without the occasional bad attitude moments, but those are fairly infrequent and I'm not even seeing that much of Twelve these last few days (see above).
Either there's something wrong with me, or this is perfectly normal.
There are lots of things wrong with me: I seem to be unable to get up early for that precious hour of prime dissertation-writing time before breakfast. I routinely eat cheeseburgers after 10 pm. I have never held the same job for more than a year because I get bored. I broke a part of a very cool old sewing machine in a stunningly dumb shit moment a few months ago. I probably need to schedule an annual exam but don't know how long it's actually been since my last one. The damn grass is a week overdue for a trim.
Okay, I'm probably fine. We won't go so far as to claim normal (I don't like that term anyway), but let's go with fine. I'll power through the rest of this week, and hopefully next week - when I'm a doctoral candidate, knock on wood - the warm fuzzy feelings will have returned.
In the meantime, Twelve, that's your last last warning: Stop drooling on me and go away!
*According to her pediatrician, Twelve was "five nine and a smidge" last week. Basketball camp is the second week in June: Scouts, take notice!