At church on Christmas Eve, I grabbed the blond twin's arm and sternly said "stop it now." I'm sure I sounded like a mean mom to everyone around me, but I didn't care. I couldn't take her anymore. I was in too much pain -- actual physical pain.
The blond twin is a high contact child. She cannot be close enough to anyone. She doesn't sit near you, she sits on your lap. If she cannot sit on your lap, she sits so closely that you cannot move that side of your body. She's always been this way. When she was a baby, she always wanted to be held. She likes the close contact.
In church, the translates in painful ways. She cannot stand next to me, she tries to stand in front of me. Or, in her case, she stomps on my feet, with an elbow to my side as she goes by. While we're sitting in the pews, she's elbowing me to snuggle in, pulling my hair so she can whisper in my ear and kicking my shin as she swings her legs. It's a painful experience, even though she's not with us for the entire service.
The girls spend the first part of church services in what we call "Children's Church." They learn an age-appropriate version of the day's lesson. It's not until just before communion that they join us.
Then the fun begins. It's a weekly adventure. A few weeks ago she started to kneel up on the pew so she could speak to me. In the process, she put her elbow on my thigh and pressed down. She used the elbow to push herself up to my ear. It hurt -- a lot.
I turned to a mom behind me and said, "It's like a never-ending full body-contact wrestling match with this girl." She laughed. She comes to church with six boys under the age of 10 and doesn't have these problems. No wonder she's laughing.
It's hard to believe such a sweet and loving child can cause so much pain, but I have the bruises to prove it. Now I encourage her to sit next to her Daddy. For some reason she doesn't seem to do as much damage to him.