Monday, July 9, 2012

How do you like your attention? Rare, medium, or cooked beyond recognition?

I tend to like mine pretty well done.  I'm spoiled you see.  I like to be pampered and loved and told how perfectly wonderful I am often if not on a daily basis.  When I don't receive these things, I start wondering what I've done wrong.  Where I've failed as a wife, mother, friend, and lover.  I've been called, "over dramatic" on several different occasions because I tend to perseverate on my perceived deficiencies well beyond what is considered obsessive.  To be quite honest, I'm a pain in the ass.  I own it.  I feel badly for any person who has ever attached themselves to me, a paranoid, needy individual; however, in my opinion - and theirs I hope - the perks far outweigh the disadvantages.

My youngest son, Austynn, needs a lot of attention - he always has.  He came to our home at six years of age having received little or no consistent affection in his short life.  I can't begin to imagine the sadness surrounding my kiddo's early existence.  By the time I was six, I was in an environment immersed in birthday parties, play dates, extended family get-togethers, cuddling with my parents, and having positive interactions with my siblings.  Austynn had none of this in a normal, functional time line.  We've been playing "catch-up" ever since.  It must seem odd to strangers when they see my 160 pound fourteen year old - who's two inches taller than his mother - asking for "side-hugs" or kisses.  Emotionally, he's 9 years old.  He'll catch up when he's ready.  Until then, he snuggles with me at home while I read stories to him in the afternoons.

My husband loves the attention I pay him.  I do believe I've created a monster.  He's sweet in that he doesn't demand anything but I've spoiled him for so long now that I feel a certain amount of pressure to keep my game on.  He has an expectation that the house will always look neat when he walks through the door, things will be quiet and under control, and dinner will be cooking on the stove.  Harrumph!  What have I done to myself?  I'm surprised he doesn't expect me to greet him every night in silk stockings and a French Maid uniform.  Geesh!  I only did that a couple of times.  He needs to set his expectations a wee bit lower.

My dogs are overcooked in their attention.  You can ask any of my friends and neighbors just how much attention Tank and Tulip demand and how much they receive and well, ummm..ahhh, it's quite frankly embarrassing.  I have no control over my dogs.  They have complete control over my heart.  There is nothing I wouldn't do for them if they asked me and, yes they speak to me very clearly, "Ma, I want a treat." 

Tulip (Tootie)

"Isn't this your third one, Tootie?"

"Yes, but I deserve one 'cause I'm adorable and you can't resist me."

"You're absolutely right.  Here you go."

"Tank, you don't need to go into the bathroom with me."

"I need to go everywhere with you.  Besides, I protect you from that awful smell monster in there."

"Well, I can't argue with that logic, come on in."

"Thank you, mama."