Mommy’s Prickly Legs: A Touch And Feel Book

As a new parent, I received a veritable avalanche of books to give to my child. Classics, new releases, board books, and the ones which try as I might I never quite came to appreciate””Touch and Feel books.  For those of you living in a (rough, damp) cave, Touch and Feel books are books whose pages have textures, since small children love to explore things using their sense of touch.  A touch-and-feel book might have a picture of a lamb with a small patch of fluffy white fabric pasted in so that the child can ”pet” the lamb. They will have a small piece of red velvet glued onto a picture of a prince so that your child can ”feel the prince’s velvety cape.”

Except that this is in no way representative of my child’s world.  There is an almost zero percent chance that my child will encounter a prince in the near future, let alone one who is both wearing a velvety cape and allowing people to walk right up and touch it.  As we live in a metropolitan area, his interactions with lambs are limited.  But that is not to say that there are not a great many things in his own world that he can touch and/or feel.  There are dozens of experiences he can have without ever leaving the apartment.

Which is why, due to a lack of relatable Touch-and-Feel books, I have written one that seemed much more relevant to our own lives.

Feel Mommy’s Prickly Legs: A Touch And Feel Book

1. Touch the sharp prickles!

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Feel your mother’s prickly legs.  She used to have time to shave but you start crying hysterically the second she disappears behind the shower curtain so her personal grooming has been put on hold to keep you from having an emotional breakdown.

2.  Feel the soft, fluffy cotton!the ugly volvo momslegs 2__1408550001_142.196.167.223

Feel the fluffy cotton in the top of the Excedrin bottle.  The bottle says ”take two” for a headache, but she is thinking of taking more than two because no side effects could be worse than the sound of your hysterical, undeciphered crying.

3. Squish, squish!  Touch his squishy eyes!

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Touch the bags under your father’s eyes””the bags are squishy.  He has bags under his eyes because he has not slept more than 4 hours in a row for as long as he can remember.

4. Feel the smooth iPhone!the ugly volvo momslegs 4__1408557192_142.196.167.223

Feel the smooth face of your mother’s iPhone. Your mother uses her phone to type messages like, ”I can’t do this anymore, I’m at the end of my rope,” and ”IS THIS NORMAL???  WHAT AM I DOING WRONG????” She is texting the friends she used to see frequently but who now, thanks to you, she communicates with primarily through texts and Facebook statuses that are thinly veiled cries for help.

5. Touch the rough fabric!

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Touch the rough fabric of your father’s empty pocket.  His pockets used to be filled with the clinking and rustling of disposable income, but now he is trying to save up 42 million dollars so that someday you can go to college.  His pockets will be empty for a long long time!

6.  Touch the crinkly, crumply list!

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Touch the crinkly paper of your mother’s list.  It is crumpled up because it is an old list that she wrote a long time ago, full of things she one day hoped she would do. She has not had a chance to think about any of those things in a while.  Sorry, idealism!


 7. Feel the hard muscles!

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Feel your mother’s rock hard arm muscles.  Your mother’s arms used to be soft and delicate but after months of lifting you out of your crib and carrying your f#%*ing stroller up staircases she has the sinewy biceps of a professional wrestler.


8. Touch the bumpy, scaly eczema!

the ugly volvo momslegs 8__1408561338_142.196.167.223

Touch your father’s eczema. Your father’s eczema is scaly.  He had it under control for a while but it is aggravated by stress and you, for the record, are extremely stressful.

9. Scritch, scratch!  Touch her unnecessarily abrasive advice!

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Feel the abrasive advice of total strangers.  Who is this random woman and why is she blabbering on endlessly about the correct way to raise a baby?  This total stranger certainly has a lot of opinions!

10. Feel the wiggly waves of emotional tension!

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Feel the emotional tension as your mother cries out, ”I have never felt more unappreciated!’ and your father says something impulsive like, ”But you were the one who wanted to have this baby!”  They are both frustrated and confused.  They used to have a normal relationship and now they spend hours every day wiping drool off their clothes while simultaneously wishing they didn’t feel resentful of each other.  Even when you love someone, having a baby with them can be very difficult!

11. Feel the love your parents have for you.

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You do not even need your hands for this one.  Feel the overwhelming amount of love your parents feel for you.  You can feel it in how they look at you, even though their eyes are tired.  You can feel it in how they hold you in their feeble, exhausted arms”” watching you breathe and stroking your cheeks.  You can hear it in their voices, as they mumble through lullabies whose words they keep forgetting,  glancing at your perfect face to see if you have finally, hopefully, fallen asleep.

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