You’re yelling at me in my love language. And, also, you’re just yelling.

Like many pre-marrieds, Trent and I read “The Five Love Languages” before we got married. You know, so we’d communicate our affection better, yada, yada, yada. 😉 The languages are physical touch, acts of service, quality time, words of affirmation and giving/receiving gifts. It’s not a bad read, but I think most people receive and give love in a number of ways. But we did notice that since I grew up in a household that expressed love through comforting touch, like hand-holding, back rubs, hugs, high-fives, hands on the knee, etc., that I expected more of that from him. So, when we were sitting in church or at the movies and my fiance-at-the-time kept his hands folded neatly in his lap, I would stew in frustration that he wouldn’t put his arm around me. SO, reading this book helped us address this miscommunication. According to the book, physical touch would be one of my primary love languages. I recently read The Five Love Languages of Children, and have started noticing some of Carson’s tendencies. He’s still really young to tell, but I think his strongest ones so far are physical touch and gifts.
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On an unrelated story, but one which I will soon connect, in college, I had 2 friends with whom I would invent characters–the kind of characters we thought should be on Saturday Night Live. My favorite character Kellianne and I created in our dorm room was Coach Ed, The Harriest Swim Coach Alive. He was a coach who…actually, his title leaves little need for explanation. Curtis and I would create characters in the Ekklesia* van on long drives. One he created and would enact to annoy us was Personal Space Pete. “Pete” had no space boundaries and would violate acceptable social physical and verbal limits.
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Lately, I feel like I am living with Personal Space Pete–and I’m not talking about my husband. Yes, physical touch is one of my primary love languages, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and I’m experiencing it. Daily. I’ve been trying to make a point to spend some quality, one-on-one time with Little C each day. No sister, no dad, no TV–just him and mom. And yet, he feels the need to be connected to me, skin-to-skin, all the livelong day. He follows me from room to room, hanging on my clothes, clinging to my leg, asking for piggyback rides, etc. Bless his little heart, I do love snuggling with him, and try to do that as often as possible to try to fill his need. Even when I don’t feel like it. But lately–I am ALL TOUCHED OUT! I am going to try to get a video of him while I’m feeding Sydney, because that is when he begins to yell at me in this love language. If it weren’t so frustrating, it would be funny. I literally become his personal jungle gym. This is stress-inducing for me, because Little Miss is not a great eater. She’s an on-and-off-and-on-and-off snacker, which takes some focus on my part to get the job done. Which, come to think of it, having another small human literally attached to me so much of the day is probably adding to the feeling of physical hollering. Mr. Potato Head, books, snacks and movies seem to hold his attention only until he realizes that there is a perfectly warm body nearby, ready to be scaled like a lumpy ladder. While yelling. And playing the recorder. Or shaking a rattle at Sydney’s face. Or pretending he’s a lion and ROARing and clawing us. Or trying to ride horsey on my leg. Pick your poison.
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I hesitated to even blog about this, because I feel like I’m complaining about my kiddo a lot during this transition to a new sibling, and I seriously love him so much that it hurts. AND, he’s had many perfectly delightful moments in the last 6 weeks. But I find myself commenting on other mommy blogs for them to feel comfortable talking about the good and the bad, so I decided it was OK to vent to any of you who choose to read. I know that we will get through this, the weather will cool down (which will help me not feel so “gamey” as JJ would say), and I’ll start getting more sleep which will all help. But for now, if I see you, don’t feel the need to hug me. In fact, I’m temporarily switching my love language to “gifts,” so feel free to love me in that way. 😉
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*One of my newer friends asked what Ekklesia is. It was a singing group I was in during college. We traveled around on the weekends and all summer singing and telling people at churches they should send their kids and money to our university. It was a huge part of my college experience–and helped pay for a lot of it!