Leave me alone!
My friend Heather was just saying that since her family was away (husband and all kids!) she would go ahead and have a tomato sandwich for dinner, because none of them like tomatoes. It got me thinking, what would I do if I found myself alone for a full day?
Despite having a house full of almost teenagers, most of whom would sleep in if they could, there aways seems to be something to get up for. My husband takes the train to work, so I’m effectively the only driver weekday driver (but that will all change on August 25!!! Hopefully . . . . ) that means I gotta get up with them. My husband can usually get himself to the train in the morning, but if there’s a ride to hitch, he’s in.
Breakfast of one champion
I would just have my usual breakfast, either eggs or a smoothie. With no interruption from the crowd, no breaks for trips to school, camp or the train. I'd enjoy that extra cup of coffee, that thorough reading of all the comments on a seemingly innocuous post on Facebook's Madison Area Parents. Maybe I’d even comment myself and see what happens.
I would go to my Barre class, which I have been missing all summer. It's not that I can’t leave the kids at home, its just that:
They make giant, uncleanable messes when unsupervised.
They get into fights and text me things like “me and (insert sibling name here) want to make a black bath balm. Where can we get charcoal that’s activated?” It totally ruins my zen.
They are basically, well, to quote verbatim “bored out of their minds” and it seems like I shouldn’t take a good hour and a half to myself when I could be sharing precious summer memories with my rapidly aging out of childhood children (two years until the first one goes to college. I just got chills.)
Stop for that coffee after barre class. Maybe schedule a meetup with a friend. Really talk about all the things. Even get past your kids stuff and your family’s stuff to OUR stuff. No texts from home lik “please make her leave” to me. As if I could or would make one of my children leave the house from Drip coffee! I wouldn't run off to pickup shouting “I forgot to talk about LOW FODMAPs!” or “We’ll plan the class breakfast next time!”
At this point, I would have had about 17 cups of coffee, so I’d be energized to do something great. And there would be only one bed to make, one person’s laundry to ignore, one little bit of breakfast dishes to wash. I’d dedicate a good two hours to writing for sure until . . .
Binge watching over lunch
I could finally catch up on The Leftovers or start watching The Americans. I’d bring my lunch (whatever is in the fridge! No arguing over where/what to eat!) No worries about quickly fast forwarding through something inappropriate should someone join me on the couch!
Solo shopping spree!
I could actually try on clothes and not just pile them in the cart at Target while also getting school supplies and random friend’s birthday presents. I was going to say diapers, because that’s really how long it’s been since I turbo shopped for clothes at Target. Really nowadays I usually have someone who is my height but 40 pounds lighter trying stuff on. The trick is to balance making sure I see what she tries on and rate it for appropriateness without seeming like a total prude while finding a “Man chair” for a less interested sibling. Often I just get one or two things my teenager is getting in a much larger size and promise not to wear it in public.
Dinner and a show
I can eat anywhere, even the tomato sandwich place! But actually I can’t really eat much bread and I ought to be having greens and I blah blah blah. I think I’d just see if a friend might drive me out to see a local band (I have been meaning to check out Mamma D and the Vexations at The Laundromatin Morristown, so let’s just say that’s an option on this night.) and have a liquid dinner.
In the morning, I’m sure I’d be feeling the effects of that liquid dinner. Plus I would be missing those other people who live here. No one to keep me warm in bed or talk politics with! No one to bring to that new arcade or check out one of our fun day trips with. I'm not going to just reread A Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy to myself! I need my family for that stuff.