I remember a time when I came home from work and my son was all over me. I was dressed in a silk shirt and jacket. As I was eating a salad, he began tenaciously gnawing away at the edges of my sanity with his demand for my attention. Tense and tired, I interrupted his advances, hoping that I’d given him enough: “That’s nice honey;” “What a big boy.” Still he advanced. It was as though he wanted to get under my skin. I couldn’t tolerate his sticky ice cream hands on my wrist and finally I snapped: “Honey, please stop pulling on me.” Slowly he crumbled and faded to his mother’s lap. Frustrated, I pulled back, and we distanced ourselves. Within moments, I negotiated some space for myself in exchange for a story to be read after his bath. And I realized that it would take some doing to recover the balance.
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