I used to have time by myself- to plan my life and goals, to do home improvement or crafty projects….to perform ummm…self maintenance. Now that I have become a mom to 2 Tweens, 1 Drama Queen and 2 Pint Size Terrorists there is not a moment of peace to be found in this house. Somebody always wants something from me: a snack, a story, a drink, a sharp knife to run around with….it never ends. As I was clearing a path through the toys littering the family room floor the other day I had a moment to reflect on the alone time that I used to take for granted.
1. Going to the bathroom and Showering. You don’t realize just how much you appreciate your privacy until you’re forced to make tinkle with an audience.
2. Having a phone conversation without interruptions. I can’t remember the last I talked to someone on the phone with our conversation being punctuated with pleas for silence and/or threats of bodily harm.
3. Eating without having to share. I’m pretty sure I used to eat my entire meal without having someone beg me for a bite. On a related note- I’m unclear as to why I cannot lose weight considering I have not eaten a full meal in 11 years. It’s a mystery.
4. Watching more than 3 minutes of a show uninterrupted. Is it so much to ask to watch at least until the first commercial without having to pause it because of the noise level or the repeated requests for snacks? Thank goodness for the DVR and the rewind/pause feature or I might have to give up watching anything on TV.
5. Reading an entire book before I forget what the plot is about. Oh what a luxury, and one that I didn’t appreciate until it was gone. I used to read a book in 1-2 days and I enjoyed it. Now it can take me up to 3 weeks to finish one book because I have to go back and re-read parts that I missed or had to skim over thanks to the repeated interruptions.
6. Watching something other than cartoons with whiny kid characters. You hear that Caillou? I hate you. I want to watch grown up shows without anything animated and annoying. I want to watch the news without having to explain why that man is dressed like a woman and answer questions about who cut his private parts off.
7. Silence. Boy how I miss the sound of silence. I haven’t heard it in….about 11 years now. Well that’s not quite true. I have heard silence but now instead of filling me with peace, it fills me with fear. Pure, unadulterated fear because if it’s quiet it means trouble. Somebody is doing something very naughty.
8. Knowing exactly where something is and not having to search the entire house to find an item I laid down 10 minutes before. I am a person that always puts things in a specific spot so I know where they are when I need them. The car keys- always on the counter in the basket. The diaper bag- always hanging on the third hook in the closet. The checkbook- always in the desk drawer. My children like to mess with me and move things around all willy nilly. I’ll lay my phone down on the table, walk to the other room for no more than 30 seconds, and yet my phone is gone by the time I get back.
9. Using naughty words with reckless abandon. A solicitor wakes me up at 8am? Blurt out a naughty word. I stub my toe on a chair? Screech a naughty word. Now, I have to mumble an incoherent sad substitute under my breath. Sugar just does not have the same magical powers. Sugar does not take away the pain.
10. Being able to walk to the fridge in the middle of the night without nearly killing myself on a rouge lego block. I often need to get up and tinkle in the middle of the night thanks to the damage these children did to my poor body while gestating. Sometimes I also like to get a drink of water while I’m up, which ensures that I will be up again in another 2 hours to tinkle again. I would love to make the journey from my bedroom to the kitchen without the threat of serious physical harm befalling my body. The stairs are an obstacle course and if I survive that, navigating the mine field of legos is sure to take me down.
I hear all the time to “enjoy this time, it goes by so quickly”. You know who says that? People who get to pee by themselves, that’s who.