Human Jungle Gym

by Ginger on March 12, 2013

in Day in the Life

I roll over and he is looking at me, waiting for me to wake up. “Hi Mommy” he says, as he starts to climb up and over me, scaring the cat who is still asleep between my legs. Knees and feet and hands all bang into me, and then he settles down in my side, my arm, my ribs, my neck. Sometimes it is easier than others to get out of bed.

I get out of the shower, and the cat who has taken refuge behind the shower curtain suddenly realizes we are in a space alone. He begins to wind himself around my feet and ankles, while I try to get him and his cat hair away from my not yet dry legs. In the end, I almost trip getting out the door.

I put on my makeup, and the kid runs into the bathroom, running into me at full speed. He laughs and laughs, while I tell him, again, not to run into me. He grabs my hand and starts to pull, wanting me to come up to have breakfast with him, and when I tell him I’m still not done, he grabs my wrist with both arms and lifts his feet, like I am some human rope swing. I put him down and unwrap his hands, before shooing him out the door.

I sit on the floor, trying to put on my shoes. The dog sits down next to me, pushing her nose under my arm, wanting attention. Suddenly, the boy is on my back, climbing me like a monkey climbs a tree. In the excitement, the dog has been pushed into my lap. I just want to put my shoes on.

Time for goodbye hugs and kisses. This part I love.

I get home from work, I sit for a few minutes to answer the last emails I didn’t have time to deal with before leaving. Within 30 seconds of sitting down, the cat is in my lap, vying for attention from the laptop. He nudges his head into my hands, repeatedly, making me mistype over and over. I pick him up and put him on the ground, and he jumps back up and does the same thing again. We repeat this dance until I give up, finding a way to type with a cat pressing his head into my right hand for the duration.

I happen to be sitting when the boys get back from school pickup. The kid runs in the house and jumps up into my lap for full body contact hugs. He squirms around in my lap until he is practically upside down, sprawled across every available surface in the chair, including me. It doesn’t last long before he’s trying to climb over my arm off the side of the chair.

I feed the cat and he jumps up with his front paws on my chest to try to get to the food faster. When I pick him up to move him closer to his bowl, he nudges my hand with his head, as if to say “hurry up with that food woman.”

I grab bowls for dinner as the kid comes racing into the kitchen. He comes over and grabs me around the waist, smashing his face into my hip. My hands are full and his ears work as well as any three year old’s, so he doesn’t get off of me and doesn’t get off of me and doesn’t get off of me until I finally lose my patience and yell at him. He sobs, and I sigh, and once we both calm down, he comes and sits on my leg while I explain again that he needs to listen, and that he can’t just hang on people, and also that I’m sorry I yelled. We hug.

I eat my dinner and the dog, who has already been chastised by the other grownup in the house, comes over and lies down on my feet. I know she just wants to be in proximity to the potential food droppings from the boy, and she can hide on my side of the table. I make her leave, but she keeps ending up back on my feet, or leaning on my leg until she finally gets put in the other room.

I help the boy get ready for bed, which somehow turns into a full body contact sport. He leans on me as he puts on his pajama pants, he sits in my lap as he puts on his shirt. He wants me to carry him “uppio” to the bathroom to brush his teeth. He puts his feet on my knees as we sit and brush brush brush. We read books, and he sits, not quite in my lap and not quite next to me, but somehow sort of both. Then it’s time for talking about our “busy day,” and as we listen to daddy talk about the day, he pats my arm, and pushes my legs with his feet, and headbutts me in the shoulder, and plays with my hair. Finally, it is time for hugs, one last call of “Go Away Monsters, Go AWAY!” as he clings to my back, then one more hug and kiss, and one more hug and kiss and just one more hug mommy.

I sit on the couch for a minute, and the dog (who currently has two full cushions for herself) stands up, circles, and plops herself down on me.

I move to the chair, and pull out my laptop. The cat returns, balancing precariously on my chest/lap without falling, while pushing his head into my hand. I try to remove him, but he comes back like a very furry boomerang, so at some point I give up and just deal with him sitting on me.

I go to bed to do some reading before trying to sleep. The cat perches on my chest, or curled up in my arm, or on my head. After one too many headbutts change the page on my Nook, I push him off the bed. But as soon as the book goes down and the lights go off, he is howling to be petted and takes up residence under my arm, nudging my hand to pet him until I relent. If I pet him enough, and he gets enough cuddles, he’ll eventually go lay between my legs and let me sleep.

Which is where he is the next morning when I roll over to the boy’s “Hi Mommy” and arms and legs climbing over me to begin another day as a human jungle gym.

Ann Soutter March 13, 2013 at 8:28 pm

and that is the reason I end up yelling at the two legged creatures and the four legged creatures that I share my home with “DON’T TOUCH ME!!!!!”

Mama Mary March 15, 2013 at 10:25 am

Love this, Ginger. “Jungle Gym” is definitely synonymous with “mom.” I still carry my little one even though she’s almost five since someday they won’t want me to be their jungle gym. 🙂

Melis March 15, 2013 at 10:50 am

Somewhere between the cat’s last headbutts and falling asleep at my feet and the “Hi Mommy” in the morning is when my hubby would get into bed and start nudging me. . . “let’s make another baby.”

What? Please don’t touch me!!

Yet, it was the best time of my life! Now, I am lucky I have one cat that still nudges me!

Kim March 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Love this account of your daily routines, beautifully written!

Ann March 15, 2013 at 9:07 pm

All of this closeness sounds so wonderful! Touchingly and gymnastically wonderful!

Keely March 22, 2013 at 11:24 am

Nora has a game called “Lemme knock you to the ground.” Since it involves copious amounts of hugging and kissing, it’s allowed.

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