Home alone

By Mir
March 14, 2011

I spent my entire weekend alone, and I cannot tell you the last time I did that. Such an auspicious occasion seems like it deserves exotic plans and special activities, but the reality is that I pretty much 1) unplugged (even though I had a ton of work to do) and 2) did a lot of nothing, albeit much of that nothing involved GOING OUTSIDE, which is something I am not generally good at while on a schedule.

Otto is away at this little conference you may possibly have heard of before. The day after he left, Chickadee left on the Big Band Trip (and OH THE DRAMA leading up to that one, hooboy, I just about kicked her out of the car bodily when it was time for her to go). And then the following day, Monkey left on a trip with his dad.

And then it was just me and the dog. I have to tell you, Licorice is pretty much the perfect companion for me, because whatever I want to do, she thinks it’s a superawesometastical idea. Like, not just “oh, okay” but more like “OMG THAT IS THE BEST IDEA EVER!” And that is why dogs are awesome.

So… sit on the couch and watch TV? OH GOOD IDEA YAY THE COUCH I LOVE THE COUCH PET ME PET ME AWWWW YEAH! Go for a walk? ZOMG A WALK A WALK I LOVE WALKS I SMELL SQUIRRELS A WALK A WALK OHBOY A WALK! Play fetch? I LOVE THIS BALL THIS BALL MYBALLMYBALL I GET IT YAY MY BALL! Etc. She’s an extremely agreeable minion, is my point. I’m sure the fact that I share my popcorn with her has nothing to do with it.

Of course, I pretty much forgot about the time change, and then even once I dutifully changed all the clocks, I somehow managed to completely space out about the family room clock being unreachable and therefore, still an hour behind. So then I stayed up an hour later than I meant to, last night, which made getting up this morning super fun. Ahem.

I took this opportunity to go to the grocery store and buy lots of fruits and vegetables, and have been enjoying barely cooking coupled with no one whining at me that they are hungry or they don’t want THAT for dinner. (THAT can be just about anything. Also, the proper response to “I don’t want THAT for dinner!” is “That’s fine, what did YOU make for dinner?”) It’s possible that I was partly swayed by the impending warmer weather and the fact that I stepped on the scale and went OH DEAR LORD WHAT HAVE I DONE? (Answer: What I have done is curl up this very stressful fall/winter and eaten everything that wasn’t nailed down.) Regardless, yay for fruits and veggies and maybe being able to squeeze into a swimsuit by the time Georgia heats up to its regular summer temperature of Holy Hell It’s Really Hot.

It’s all been quite idyllic, except that the phone keeps ringing. Monkey had to let me know they landed okay, which was fine. But Otto and Chickadee keep calling and I keep telling them they don’t have to, but I dunno, they like me or something. Well, Otto likes me. Otto likes me so much that he called and woke me up late last night and was completely unfazed by me snarling at him that I was sleeping. Heh.

Chickadee, on the other hand, was told she should feel free to call me ONCE over the weekend, but has called every day to whine about something. (Awwwww, she misses her mommy!) Like, I am supposed to be willing to send her off to nerd camp for three weeks this summer after she goes and burns herself to a crisp on the very first day of her trip because she “forgot to wear her hat” and “couldn’t find any sunscreen.” Uh huh. (Pro tip: Self-care with 13-year-olds is mostly limited to making sure their hair looks good. Just letting those of you with smaller kids know.) And then as an added bonus, today she butt-dialed me three times in a row, and after I screamed into the phone trying to get her attention each time (failing to do so), I finally managed to call her back and SHE got mad at ME. Because clearly that was my fault.

Today I’ll work and run some errands and the late tonight I’ll pick up Chickadee and bring her home and tuck her into bed and hope she doesn’t get up until Wednesday. And then Otto will be back and eventually Monkey will be back, and the chaos can resume.

I like the chaos, too—don’t get me wrong—but these few days of relative peace were really nice.


  1. Kathykate

    I wish to be left alone, but when rarely find myself there, even for a few minutes, I’m lonely. Chaos is my life, and I relish it, and already mourn the time when the kids are gone and my days are my own.

  2. Tenessa

    Ah, the peace. Ah, the quiet. Ah, the peace and the quiet. **stares dreamily off into space”

  3. Leandra

    For the record, I’m totally stealing “What did YOU make for dinner.”

    Also, I’m completely and totally jealous of your weekend.

  4. elz

    Oh man, a whole weekend to yourself? HEAVEN. Not that we don’t love our kids with every drop of blood in our bodies, but heaven.

  5. Jess

    Like Leandra, I’m also using “What did YOU make for dinner?” and am terribly jealous. :)

  6. Flea

    How wonderful. I’m relaxing just thinking about your weekend. :)

    For the record? Seventeen year old girls aren’t any better than 13 year old girls. Mine is THIS CLOSE to being homeless.

    It turns out, a learned friend of mine informed me just last night, that the brain grows and changes rapidly and dramatically between the ages of 11 and 13, then again between 15 and 18. The first stage is the toddler years, and these two stages are very similar to that. So enjoy 14 for all it’s worth.

  7. Frank

    I have a feeling the “What did YOU make for dinner?” line will work exactly once in our household. He is not yet 5 and desperately wants to help daddy cook (at the most inopportune times).
    Or… it’ll be…”I want you to take me to make french fries at Old McDonalds……”

  8. suzie

    I always look forward to time alone. Life has come together in such a way that I typically get time alone over the summer, because my kids go to their dad’s, and my husband goes off to a retreat. This year, though, the timing was such that my “time alone” came right after vacation, and I kind of didn’t need a break, and I was very lonely.

    It may be that I need a dog. :)

  9. Megan

    Mmmm… alone. I get more alone than I used to (my kids! They are old! They drive!) but somehow it’s not quite enough still. Tune in next year when it’ll be – alone! I’m alone! Too much alone!

  10. Kristi

    Alone? Never knew there was such a thing. How awesome for you!

  11. mamaspeak

    I’m so jealous, I have no words.

  12. midj

    Next January… Empty nest…Waaaaaahhhhh! Until then, enjoying every scrap of “me” time I can find. Glad you had a relaxing weekend.

  13. Tracy

    Just in time to regain your sanity! YAY!

  14. Katie in MA

    I think you played your weekend exactly right. Those lazy, no-one-bother-me weekends are what a mama needs from time to time. (Of course, having Licorice on hand doesn’t count. Because how could that cute litlte enthusiastic fuzzball ever be a bother?!)

  15. Karen

    Also stealing “That’s fine.. What did YOU make for dinner?”

  16. Angela

    Ahh, that sounds both lovely and well-deserved! My hub & I took three of his nephews for this week, ages 13, 11 and 7. They’re all well-behaved and generally fun to have around for awhile. But yeah, the whole thing about 13 year olds? OMG they are SO GROSS! In just two days time I’ve heard about how he was picking warts off his hand with his TEETH (gag, hurl, vomit….), and he wishes he had another staph infection so he could miss school again like when the last one ruptured whilst skateboarding (puke, hurl, choke…). Yeah, wow. I promptly informed him that warts are a VIRUS that you will SPREAD by doing that, and do you WANT warts in your mouth????? AND GO WASH YOUR HANDS RIGHT NOW!!!! Needless to say, I’ve been a cleaning whirlwind. It really makes one wonder about these women teachers you see on the news who are sleeping with junior high/high school boys! How can that POSSIBLY be attractive??? I’m sure that’s why it’s called a Sickness. But gah, I just can’t wash off all the heebie-jeebies in my brain…..

  17. Celeste

    I feel sooooooooooo guilty at how much I enjoy “alone time.” But I really do.

    My kids have reached that age where they never. ever. call. Even in an emergency. Need a ride home? Send a text. House is on fire? Send a text. When my 14-yr-old Sugarbomb is away, she sends me lots and lots of texts. And pictures. Oh well, at least she still likes me. Except when she’s actually WITH me.

  18. Little Bird

    When “That’s fine, what did YOU make for dinner?” fails, substitute “buy” for “make”. That’s what my mother used on me, once she realized I could cook. Shortly after that, cooking became my “chore”. To this day (I’m 36), I cook for all of us once a week, a family meal.
    I’ve also been informed that my survival of early teendom was something of a minor miracle. And was a testament to a mother’s love, no matter how much of a shit the kid is being.

  19. Theresa

    I drove to the car dealership by myself this morning. First time alone in, oh, forever. Love my crazy family, though.

  20. The Mommy Therapy

    Just the idea of being alone in my house makes me want to cry with joy. It is such a foreign idea that I can’t even fathom it for an hour or two. I am never, ever, EVER alone and it is one of the things that I miss the most since having kids almost six years ago. Three kids under five doesn’t afford many options to get rid of all of them at once. I’m going to dream about the future possibility of it though after this post.

    I’m glad you are having your time of nothingness, there are few things better than that after going through a chaotic time.


  21. amy

    I couldn’t think of better timing for you to get some ‘recharge’ time for yourself!

  22. All Adither

    Your Chickadee stories are scaring the crap out of me.

  23. Anna

    Being alone is almost always a big letdown for me. I have very grand plans that end up not working out. The last time I was alone, I thought I could just sew for three days. I got to sew for two hours. Ugh. But whatever I *do* end up doing is still fun- and ALONE! so I can hardly complain much.

  24. Varda (SquashedMom)

    I’m with mamaspeak. I cannot remember the last time I have been home alone for more than a 4 hour stretch of time… before the kids were born, for sure. sigh. How much would I like to do a whole lot of nothing all weekend long, with a book in my hand and a cat on my lap? If I had a million dollars, I’d pay it. (Actually if I had a million dollars I’d have a nanny and could take a weekend away alone at a spa, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)

    Hope you enjoyed your last hours of paradise.

  25. J from Ireland

    Ooooh all that alone time….sounds like heaven to me!

  26. Julie (Five Star Parties)

    Enjoy the silence while you can ~ chaos is right around the corner again!!

  27. Cele

    My husband is gone Tuesday and Thursday nights – that 160 commute takes it out of him – so he stays in the valley. Ergo, Tuesday and Thursday nights are mine, all mind. I believe this has kept us married this long.

  28. Nancy R

    My husband and I just snickered at the pro-tip. Lo, we too are parents of a 13-yr old…and a 10-yr old…and a 7-yr old…all girls. We’re just getting started…

  29. Liza

    Alone. At home. For more than 30 minutes. I am simultaneously thrilled for you and near weeping with jealousy.

    Also, the self-care story reminds me of Noah. Last week he bitterly and sobbingly told me that the fact he forgot his gloves and had very cold hands during recess was my fault.

  30. Brigitte

    I think I could use a couple weeks at least. And at regular intervals too. I am an EXTREMELY antisocial wench.

  31. Nancy

    When we were Chickadee’s age were envious of cute shoes, pretty hair, trendy clothes and cool boyfriends. Now we are envious of a few days alone to do whatever you want to do! I didn’t get married until I was 38, and I KNOW I didn’t fully appreciate my freedom. Now my free time is an hour in the morning when DH takes the kids to daycare so I can get ready for work by myself and maybe do a load of laundry!

    Would you like to trade Chickadee for my 2 year old for a while? This weekend she got 7 stitches in her eyebrow from a fall, got her head stuck in the banister railing, scratched her baby brother and drew blood, got her leg/knee wedged in her brother’s crib, and bloodied her lip. Plus that, she said “no” fifty eleven times a day, along with assorted temper tantrums, just to make things more fun! An ornery 13 year old girl might be a break!


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