This past week was a huge challenge for me. You see, my daughter was been sick--sick enough to have to stay home from school... for the entire week. I wasn't able to go swimming, which honestly makes me a raving bitch if allowed to go on too long, go shopping, or really get much work done. By the end of the day, I was grouchy and done. Because, you see, not only do I need my swimming three or four days a week to regulate my mood, I need alone time. And I wasn't getting that alone time... not even in the bathroom.
I suppose it's my fault, really. When she was a baby, I left the door open because I stayed home with her and I wanted to be sure I could hear her and/or she knew where I was and wouldn't start to cry. Now, if only the family is in the house, I still don't close the door. To some of you, that might gross you out, but the only reason I'd be in there for a long time is to a) attempt to have some alone time or b) I'm sick.
I say "attempt" because I'm fair game in the bathroom. Not only will my daughter come in (she comes in, pulls up her step stool, hands me a book, and says, "Mommy, can you please read this to me." sigh Really? I can't pee in peace?), my husband will follow me in and start talking about his day (He, by the way, closes the door when he goes in, which when all is said and done is really for the best.), and the cats will follow me in because, well, they have learned I will pet them. So, they will race in to see who can get to me first. LOL
But there are times I just want to be completely alone, you know.
One particular week, our cat Snowball was all over me. It was sweet, but got old fast. When I sat and worked with the laptop, she'd lay across my arms, purr, and gaze at me adoringly. (It's hard to move a purring cat.) My arms would eventually get tired, and she'd eventually get tired of my arms moving. The final straw came in the bathroom, though. With only me in the house, there was no point in closing the door. She sauntered in, didn't like the fact that I wasn't petting her as much as she thought I should, and jumped up onto my bare lap! Um, no. Ew! Seriously, I'll pet you, but my lap is off limits when I'm going potty. (I used the word "potty." Can you tell I'm a mom?)
I only close the door when company is in the house. Of course, when I do, the daughter will come to the door and ask, "Mommy, why do you have the door closed?"
"Because we have company." The doorknob jiggles. Rapid fire images of our company seeing me with my pants down flit through my mind, and I panic. "No! Don't open the door!"
She leaves, and I breathe a sigh of relief. It's one thing for the family to see you on the toilet. It's a whole other can of worms to be sharing that with others, including the mother-in-law.
Even when I'm feeling poorly or tired, they follow me. I don't mind the cats coming in and lying at my feet when I'm tired, but when the family does it, I'm a bit peeved. They don't just come in and lay at my feet. (If only!) No, the daughter will come in, bring a book for me to read, and want to snuggle. Snuggling is nice, but reading when I'm tired or sick, not so much. And if I'm tired enough to lie down at 4 pm, that usually means I'm not wanting to snuggle either. At that point, I'm done and want to be alone.
This is so rare that, when I do, my husband will come in and ask: "What are you doing?"
In my head, I'm thinking, "Okay. Just a few minutes ago I told you I was tired and done. So, um, what do you think I'm doing?" That smartass answer stays in my head... most of the time. (g)
I suppose that there will be plenty of time for me to be alone. I might even regret these feelings when the daughter moves away, and should I outlive my husband. At that point, I might turn into the cat lady (Betty White's version on SNL). Of course, since I've vowed to never have indoor cats again, I don't know. (g)
Until then, I'm sure that alone time will be a figment of my imagination.
So, do you crave alone time, too? Or am I alone in this... for once? ;)