Monday, 21 February 2011

Can't I just be Alone?

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? ;)

22 comments:

anny cook said...

I had FOUR children and numerous animals. When I went in the bathroom, the rule was whatever emergency was in progress, it had to require an ambulance or firetruck or police to disturb me.

Same rule still applies. And I've noticed my kids use it with the grandkids...

Anthology Authors said...

That's a good rule, Anny. I don't see it changing in my house, though. It's too entrenched. You know, it's best to start how you intend to go on. Otherwise, it's twice as hard to reteach them.

Big Momma said...

Ahahahaha, I know how you feel! Both my kids are ill again (that's twice this winter and we usually aren't ill at all) and were boobie-tag teaming me (I'm still nursing both of them) all last evening. I didn't get any knitting, reading, or writing done.

My toddler likes to follow me into the bathroom so he can wash his hands. Which is a good habit, but sometimes I just want to pee alone. ;D We have an open-door bathroom policy, too.

Dee Julian said...

I often need alone time, too, but after about ten minutes with myself, I get bored and crave attention. Go figure.

trinity said...

Oh this is so funny!! Faith and I were just talking yesterday that we'd have enough! We both want to pack our bags and leave for just a week alone!! No kids, no husband, no animals just alone! I know what you mean even my kids and cats know when I'm in the bathroom and come in! The kids are older now and when I take a bath they won't leave me alone! Mom can you do this, Mom can you do that? Enough! And the cat's are just as bad. I'm laying in the tub when the one cat will stand on his hind legs and start screaming for me to get out of the tub! I'm not kidding he'll even swat at the bubbles if I have them in the tub. He hates when I'm in the tub!
Yesterday was supposed to be daughter and mother day. We were going to go shopping at the mall. The mall we went to wasn't the close one. I need to find a shop for plus sizes. I NEED CLOTHES haven't shopped for in years. So I thought my daughter would have fun trying on different clothes. Well Son decided to come. Do you know I walked into the store and I wasn't in there less then five minutes when both kids started complaining! Boy did I go off! Needless to say we left the mall everyone got something, BUT ME AGAIN!
UGGG!
Trinity

Anthology Authors said...

Well, mine is finally feeling better, Big Momma. I hope you get relief soon. And I so get the need to pee in peace. Yes, I started it, but do they have to follow me every single time? (g)

Anthology Authors said...

HAHAHAHAHA, Dee. You must be a Leo. ;)

Anthology Authors said...

I'll be going to a conference in a few weeks. While I lament not having any alone time, I am sure that I'm going to be missing everyone, Trinity. That being said, the last time I had no responsibilities for a few days was two years ago. I was driving to Las Vegas for EPICon. I was about an hour out when I realized I was free. I was giddy with it. It had been so long since I'd felt that way, you know. It lasted about two days. By the end of the conference, I couldn't wait to come home. LOL

Contrary, that's what I am. LOL

Fiona McGier said...

I had 4 kids in 5 years...when my birthday would roll around, it was the one day of the year that my husband would send me out for the day, alone. I'd go out to lunch, read the paper, window-shop, etc. I looked forward to that day all year long! I never went to malls, but shopped through catalogs, because the shipping and handling was cheaper than buying all 4 of them food and drinks just to keep them quiet! Then having to take them all to the bathroom...then eating again!
Now the youngest is 17, and I still get no privacy because I work 2 jobs for their college costs, and they stay awake all night, so I have to wear noise-dampening headphones just to write! I keep telling myself they'll move out of the house someday, and I'll miss them when they do. I think.

Dee Julian said...

Nope, I'm a Virgo, Marci. At least that's the sign I was born under. They can monkey around with the zodiac dates all they want, but I'm not changing my sign! Did I mention I am a stubborn woman?

Faith said...

I have no clue what alone time is. None whatsoever. I have four children of my own, and even with two of them gone now, the phone will ring and I'll hear, "Mom, I need help with..." But I've had five step children I've helped raise, so when there are 9 kids constantly bugging you, my patience level is zero.

Thank God all 9 weren't under my roof at the same time!

Sarah Masters said...

I know exactly what you mean. I'm used to being alone all week. Love it. This is day one of the kids being off for half term. By the end of the week I'll be going nuts to be by myself.

:o)

Anthology Authors said...

Four children in five years, Fiona? How did you keep your sanity? That was _kind_ of your husband to give you that one day. I don't think it was enough. (g) The way the economy is going, they may never leave. For your sake, I hope not. ;)

Anthology Authors said...

Hm... are you on the cusp of Virgo and Leo? You could also have a lot of Leo influence in your chart. Not being an astrologer, I wouldn't be able to say. (g)

Anthology Authors said...

You are a patient woman, Faith. If I had nine children, regardless of whether some were step or not, I doubt all of them would have survived to adulthood, especially if I didn't get to swim. (g)

Anthology Authors said...

Sarah, I am so looking forward to tomorrow when she returns to school. Hallelujah!

Kenzie Michaels said...

I would dearly love to lock myself in a motel room for about a week or two BY MYSELF; no kids, no hubby, no one needing anything. Maybe then I'd actually finish a couple of wips, sigh...

Open-door bathroom all the way:) Except when I absolutely need some peace and quiet;)

Anthology Authors said...

So, what we need is a mom's week out. All of us just meet somewhere for an entire week. During that time, we can do whatever we want during that week. If we want to hang out, we can. If we want to hibernate in our room, we can. We'd have unlimited access to mani/pedis, massages, food, a competition-length swimming pool (for me, obviously. Well, for you too, if it keeps me happy. LOL), free internet access, and lots of quiet/alone time. (g)

It sounds heavenly. Any body else in?

Sarah Masters said...

I am!

:O)

Kissa Starling said...

I definitely need time alone once in a while. My family seems to think just the opposite. They also walk in on me in the bathroom and anywhere else I may be. Even my cat tries to jump up for petting. They seem shocked when I tell them I'll be out in a few minutes but then they still ask, "what are you doing in there?" Oh goodness. Once in a while I wish for an island in my future.

Anthology Authors said...

You know, Kissa, I think all of us need an island time share. The island will be only moms allowed. (g) Oh, and chefs, maids/hunky servants, masseuses, etc. (g)

The Flight of the Sorceress said...

Hi again. Is anyone out there? Barry