An Issue of Space

I am a people watcher. I love sitting in a public place and observing others. One of my favorite things is how people protect their personal space.

For instance, in an elevator everyone stands equidistant from each other:

Holly has personal space issues

Sometimes I like to mess with the elevator people a bit by shifting my position ever so slightly as to create imbalance and watch the subconscious chaos ensue.

Obviously karma has been watching and taken action to balance the world, because my off-spring have an entirely different take on the elevator scene.

Let me state right now that I don’t let my children ride elevators by themselves so this is purely hypothetical:

Holly's kids have personal space issues

I have noticed this phenomenon at home.

Where ever I am the room is completely imbalanced.

Where ever I walk it is crowded.

Where ever I pee it is accompanied.

Issue of Personal Space - Kids Activities Blog


What a huge waste of square footage.

I am selling the house and moving into the minivan.

At least there they are strapped in an equidistant formation.


  1. This is so funny and true! I’m visiting from Valarie’s blog – Hi!

  2. It All Started With a Kiss says:

    Oh, this is so funny!
    And sadly, true in our home, too. As I type on my laptop at the table, the children all need to be right. next. to. me. So I have 2 sitting beside me, one on my lap, and two ON the table. Yes. Only one is more than a couple feet from me, and that is only so he can dance frantically to the annoying children’s music that is currently playing…

  3. LOL! I often wonder why we have 3500 sq ft of living space when we really use so little! The children are slowly suffocating me!

  4. We live in a house that is blessed with 4 bathrooms. For 6 people. We always thought this would be great. Until we noticed that everyone uses ours. We often said we should have just bought a two room house and saved a lot of money.

  5. Oh my gosh! My children do the same thing! Why this past week, my Husband was in Minnesota for Work, and I thought “Yes I will get the bed to myself! 9 days with just me in the bed!” No such luck two of the children and the dog had to sleep with me! King size bed + Me and kids and dog= Valarie sleeps on 12 inches of bed.

    Also, My children do not want to “talk” to me unless I am on the phone, or in the bathroom.

  6. Fiesty Charlie says:

    Right there with you…

    I thought I suffered alone! Wait, I am NEVER alone as long as my ankle biter is awake!

    Great use of graphics!

  7. Elaine A. says:

    Yeah, alone time pretty much only comes after they are all in bed. Nothing is sacred.

  8. wow. i am so glad to see someone explain this. i feel the same way, except i have 4 kids. thanks for making it crystal clear! i must show my kids this diagram so they can learn about equidistant formation. they may be 9, 10, 12, and 15, but they are still clingy. time for a math lesson!

  9. Tranny Head says:

    I find this phenomenon to also be true in my bed. As in there’s a huge-assed bed with tons of space, and yet I am the one wearing the toddler like a cloak.

    Go figure.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is so true…. I love it…and can totally relate to it! At SOME point they will reach a point when they are not crowding you though. My little ones crowd (both 6 yrs and below), My 18 yr old will try his hardest to get in the farthest point from me…this started in teenage years…you’ll be there soon.

  11. You must have cameras set up in my house.

  12. “Equidistant” I don’t think I’ve ever used that word! You crack me up. My kids always tend to need something as soon as I shut the bathroom door too!

  13. Eudae-mamia says:

    Better than what Prince E. did in the elevator the other day when we were off to the pediatrician – he layed down on the floor. Ewwwwwwwww!

    Forget worrying about what he might pick up in the waiting room, he had already contracted typhoid, ring worm and athletes foot of the face before we even opened the door.

    Here’s to the wide open spaces of Texas! I’ve heard rumor they do exist.


  14. You could always strap them to their own respective beds to maintain balance. This might prevent the nirvana home from spinning off it’s axis and landing in your fruit bowl!

  15. Writer Dad says:

    shenanigans is a fantastic word. as fun to type as it is to say.

  16. Threeboys1mommy says:

    I like to pretend I’m famous and all these boys are my entourage… I’m thinking of buying one a big flashy camera for the full effect.

  17. ha ha ha… this totally made me laugh out loud. I truly appreciate your depiction of the wasted space. Perhaps, (and I’m just thinking here) rather than selling the house- as the economy really does stink, maybe you should just have more kids…

  18. Ha ha ha…love your diagrams, as always!

    With three boys I’m surprised you don’t say ‘shenanigans’ on an hourly basis!

  19. He And Me + 3 says:

    Too Funny…I think every Mom wishes for a little more elbow room. As I type my little guy is jumping up & down in my face. LOL

  20. merlotmom says:

    I’ve messed with people in elevators too. Fun times.

  21. Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING says:

    Oh my! This is so awesome and true. What a phenomenon. I am going to have to teach my boys about center of mass to keep equilibrium in the room. Either that, or install carseats at equidistant points throughout the house.


  22. Mrs Lemon says:

    ROFL you are so creative!

  23. This is so true…I might as well strap them to my back.

  24. Anglophile Football Fanatic says:

    I actually had a teacher who seriously did his master’s thesis on the psychology of elevator space. And, he, too liked to screw with people. I wonder if you will ever pee solo again?

  25. the planet of janet says:

    just for the record, that DOES go away.

    teenagers would prefer you occupy the space farthest from them.

    at all times.

  26. Threeundertwo says:

    It’s so true. I found the cure is to pick up cleaning apparatus. Makes them scatter to the point where each one is invisible. Then I can put my feet up and read trashy novels. I just keep a feather duster in one hand. Rather elegant really.

  27. Yeah I don’t have that problem, although When I get in an elevator I like to jump up and down and freak out the other people! lol
    Look I am at the top of the blog list! YES! Wait it says “Not a Huge Fan”…. NO! Crap!

  28. Oh wait not a huge fan was my last post……heheheheheheh I am stupid!

  29. Angie Ledbetter says:

    LOL, go girl. You might have to resort to HoolaHoop therapy like I did for one of my kids who had no boundaries and invaded other people’s spaces all the time. Walk holding hoop around you in a circle. “This space inside, honey, is all yours. Outside of it is other folks’ territory. Leave them the same amount as you have!” 😉

  30. Angie's Spot says:

    You know, I ponder these same space issues almost every minute of every day that my kids are with me. Moms must have some kind of magnetic pole embedded within that attracts their kids without regard to location. It’s endearing and yet very annoying all at the same time.

  31. Laski Gal says:

    I remember doing an experiment like this in class . . .

    We were supposed to “invade” people’s personal space. It was quite fun . . . though scary.

    As for those kiddos . . . they love their mama! Plus, can you imagine the complete 180 that’ll happen when they realize they want nothing to do with their parents??? Still, it would be nice to pee alone.

  32. Manic Mommy says:

    HAHHAHAHAHAHAHA! OMG! So. very. true! Even with assigned seating, such as the dinner table, where a foot or hand must creep over. Andy doesn’t understand it when I tell him the kids make me claustrophobic.

  33. Salubrina says:

    a woman with a plan! i love it! 🙂

  34. ShallowGal says:

    Sometimes I think my 3 year old would climb back inside me if he could. That’s how little space I get.

    xoxo, SG

  35. laughingatchaos says:

    Add a 50 pound dog to that and you have my house!

  36. LMAO are you sure you aren’t living in my house? Couldn’t tell you the last time I peed by myself, or cooked dinner without J hanging on my leg.

    One day I will have peace and tranquility…I know I can have it now but it would require a straight jacket and well ya’ know, no white after Labor Day.

  37. So they accompany you into the loo, eh?


    I myself try to have a two-foot zone around me at ALL times – my kids (with the exception of the teenagers) really don’t care about my ‘zones.’

    Except for the bathroom – they REALLY don’t want to go there. 🙂

  38. Jyl @ MommyGossip says:

    Soooo sad. And, soooo true!

    Swet dreams (in your minivan)! LOL

  39. Headless Mom says:

    Yes, equidistant formation is good. Preferably with at least an arm’s space in between children.

  40. Too many video games? I don’t know, but it makes for a spectacular picture! SOOOOO cute!

    And what a nice wish, that our Mondays could be like being in the back of a Chevrolet. Actually I don’t think I was ever in the back of a Chevrolet. WAIT, maybe Boyfriend #1. Anyway, I’m going to keep that wish for Wednesday, which is when I finally got to this. I hate Wednesdays. This will give me something to daydream about on the next dreaded Wednesday.

  41. For me, it’s the animals. The kids like to play elsewhere, but one day I will sustain serious injury from tripping over an animal that lives here.

  42. Jenn @ Juggling Life says:

    Wait until their teenagers–they’ll give you PLENTY of space!

  43. Where do you go when you’ve used up all the space in your tiny apt? you start storing stuff in your car. whenever we open the trunk there’s a 24 pack of charmin staring us in the face and all our extra luggage. When you have to refill the toilet paper and that means walking all the way down to your car in the cold at 4am…and popping the trunk…that’s a pretty good life

  44. Nanny Goats In Panties says:

    HA HA HA!!!!!

    that is all.

  45. Insta-mom says:

    You mean they aren’t supposed to be superglued to my hips? I’m seriously going to have to look into that more.

  46. Terri Tiffany says:

    LOL– Loved this! However did you get a drawing on here! I people watch too and have thought to do that very thing!!

  47. My kids used to sit on my lap while I peed. No privacy anywhere ever.

  48. Too true. Too true. Until your sweet six year old turns into a sullen seven year old and from across the room he and the chip on his shoulder helps to balance out the room again. Not that I know this from personal experience, mind you.

  49. Weaselmomma says:

    You crack me up, both with how you entertain yourself in elevators, and how you describe the phenomena of children/mother space ratio.
    I always swear that my children want to get back inside of my warm and cozy belly.

  50. Ron Davison says:

    My daughter was about 12 and we sent her to a multi-day seminar. One of her homework assignments one evening was to step into an elevator and face everyone while saying, “I suppose you all are wondering why I called you here.”
    I have tried this a couple of times since. I don’t know about karmic imbalance, but I have gotten bemused looks.

  51. Ron Davison says:

    I think that if you wanted, you would make a good UFO-ologist. You have the mind and imagination for it. (And you should take this as a compliment, Holly. I don’t believe that I’ve ever seen that potential in anyone else.)

  52. MoscowMom says:

    OMG! 52 comments! You sure hit a nerve. IT IS SO TRUE. I call it “mommy magnetic force.” You never studied it in Physics class, but it’s an undebatable truth. Until the kids turn 13. And then you actually repel them.

  53. FANTASTIC!!! Come to think of it, there’s a heck of a lot of wasted space in my home, too. hmmm

  54. Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children says:

    So true!!! It is such a waste of space, I never thought of it that way before!

  55. omg….I found this through Jennifer from Playgroups! I have to say I think I peed a little while reading! And I totally understand. We too could live in our minivan.
    Thanks for the laugh!

  56. Limbic Resonance says:

    Wow. I am SO glad I read this before Peanut reached Cheerio age! But tell me Texas Holly, what do I give instead?! 😉 Hee hee…loved this post.

  57. I say to round them all up and just send ’em over to Bianca’s.

    I mean, that’s what I would do.

  58. "The Queen in Residence" says:

    The koy of being mom. You never ever get to have breathing room. Too funny and the diagrams made it better. So my life…. LOL

  59. "The Queen in Residence" says:

    I also cannot spell. I meant to say JOy not koy. See it is all the oxygen deprivation of being encased by children all the time…run do not walk to the minivan.

  60. Auds at Barking Mad says:

    I can’t do elevators…well not if anyone else is in there, I’ll wait eons if I have to, for an elevator ALONE. I can NOT deal with people popping my personal space bubble.

    Heaven help me if I ever get stuck in one of those things!

  61. Kathryn Magendie says:

    *snort laughing!* I’m over from Angie’s space…thanks for the morning laugh…complete with diagrams…haw!

    Well, my dog’s taken the place of my child (only child who is grown and lives across the land in Oregon)…and my hb, too – I have a big arse territorial space and people like to invade it (because I’m little, I suppose) whist I stand eyes-a-buggin and stiff and they don’t even notice when they grab onto me the subtle panic as I whisper “it’s only a hug, it’s only a hug…you’ve never seen this person in your life, but it’s only a hug”…erk.

  62. This is so incredibly funny and so incredibly true!! Depsite the fact that I’m late and everyone else has said it already, had to comment and say that I’m laughing hysterically right now (as I try to push my three children into some other square foot of space besides the one I’m occupying).

  63. Lisa@verybusymomwith4 says:

    You are very observant–I am lucky if I remember all my kids 😉

  64. Momo Fali says:

    This is why my husband says he passes gas so often…to give himself a little more room.

  65. texasholly says:

    testing, testing, 1 2 3

  66. SuburbanOblivion says:


    My first visit here(via Playgroups are no place for children’s shared reader items) and I am totally subscribing! 🙂

  67. Ha! Looks like my house!

  68. When I worked for the airlines, one of the things I trained was ‘Personal Space’. I had to go over each culture and the amount of space they need. Great post, you have a fan in me!

  69. Both of my kids crawled in bed with me this morning and were laying on TOP of ME. Not my husband. ME. What is with that?

  70. We had a shepherd.

    The shepherd *hearded* us.

    We wouldn’t notice at first, then we’d realize that the dog had very gently shoved us into a corner and was sitting next to us looking very proud.

    This was not a behavior we rewarded.

  71. I can’t remember personal space. Hubby’s space away from everyone is his workshop 10 ft by 20 ft building with insulation, electricity and a heat pump. If only I had thought to add running water a half bathroom when we had it rebuilt. Then we could call it the guest house. As long as guests did not mind sharing the space with various power tools. 🙂

  72. HA!! Just replace “kids” with “dogs” and you are describing my life perfectly. Ever had a 50lb Australian Cattle Dog intently watch you pee? It’s a little unnerving.

  73. Lol…so funny! Reading your blog sure made my day!

    1. Thanks Alisa,
      That is super sweet of you to say. Your comment made MY day!!!

  74. In regards to space, particularly in elevators I have noticed your theorem to be true. I work for a company in a 6 story building with 2 elevators and approximately 800 employees. The elevators were not made for the 800 employees, considering we lease the building. I ride the elevator several times a day. 1. To go to my office on the 4th floor, 2. To go to the 1st floor at 9:30 for a smoke break, 3. To ride back up to my office on the 4th floor at 9:40, 3. To go to lunch at 12:30 to the 1st floor, 4. To go to the basement to get snackage, 5. To go to my office…etc etc. Literally riding an elevator an approximate 8-10 times per day. I have notice unfailingly that every time I get on the elevator everyone, no matter if I know them or not, are equidistant in space. EVERY TIME. It does not matter if there are 2 people on the elevator or 8. Equidistant space is a must! Strange to thing, after reading your post how true this is. On the other side, my kids, who crowd my “space” no matter what 🙂

  75. Hahahahhaha! Fig E is hilarious. I almost woke up my baby with my monkey laughter again!
    “Wasted space in the house” comment comes out of my mouth every single day! But then older one innocently says ” the other rooms are boring without you” Argh!

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