Tuesday, May 13, 2008
when the mice are away...
Suffice it to say, we all need breaks from parenthood now and then. And I think I might be scalped if I don't cop to getting more than my fair share of time out, compared to my friends. This is not a rant about needing to get away. This is a strange confession that I am likely to regret. Thankfully, I have a pretty thick callous where shame and regret are concerned. The thing is, I have marginal anxiety about being away from my kids, we all know this. I am hugely fear-driven, and thusly worry endlessly about their safety, plus I just like having my little monsters around. Nevertheless, I do permit them to spend time with others, quite frequently actually, and I do derive pleasure from the chance to do some chillaxin with my grown-up homeys. This is especially true if there is alcohol involved. So I've learned to trust in the kids' security so that I might enjoy my adult time.
The nature of this confessional is that I am almost completely incapable of being in my house without them. So consumed with nerves when faced with having the house to myself, I go to absurd lengths never to be in that position. Sometimes I'll come home from errands and Todd will be loading Quinn and Reilly up in the truck to go bike riding or something, and they'll screech away before I have the chance to ask if maybe I could strap myself to the ski rack. So my eyes well up and I mope my way inside. I swear this time I will revel in the silence, take a hot bath, read, listen to my music, loud, with no guilt. Alas, I pace. I turn on iTunes, and immediately every tear-your-own-throat-out David Gray and/or Tracy Chapman song will play. Even though I put it on shuffle, it only plays songs that test my will to live. You know it's bad when Elton John's Sacrifice affords a little lilt. You're probably thinking one of two things: A) Shut up you fucking bitch for getting the house to yourself, or B) Shut up you fucking bitch for getting the house to yourself; why don't you just leave? I never leave because I always think this will be the time I can appreciate the moment. Typically I crank up some of my suicide prevention playlists, and start cleaning. Yes, when I follow my bliss, as Gabrielle puts it, I always end up holding lemon-scented Lysol. Now, if I truly follow the bliss, I might drink some of it, but that's a whole different post.
So I'm scrubbing away (things that are already clean, B will tell you), and my heart is racing because my kids are gone. The house isn't quiet, it's empty, and deafening. I'm okay laughing at Starbucks with you primo ladies, but stick me in my house with nary a soul and I am liable to freak right out. Invariably, B calls to ask what I'm up to, and I tell her I drew the short straw and wound up alone at home. She pauses (undoubtedly to curse the stupid ungrateful bitch who refuses to appreciate the time alone), and then gives thoughtful, helpful suggestions, such as, "Turn off Tracy Chapman, go to Borders, or come over." I'm usually too immersed in disquietude to understand her, and refuse all reasonable ideas in favor of scrubbing the bathtub, all the while knowing I am one second closer to my kids coming home to me.
Is this weird? I think it is.
Last night Quinn and Rei spent the night at my mom's, and for the first time ever, I awoke to an empty house. No competition for the shower (Quinn), no requests for cartoons (Reilly), no nothing. At first I was really panicked, but it occurred to me I could slip some flip flops on and drive to Starbucks, which I never do because, as you may have noticed, I would ever leave my kids for ten minutes. So I kicked off my solitary confinement with an Americano and a scone. Not too shabby for an unappreciative bitch, right? I proceeded to languish online, not something I'm prone to doing, fold nine (count 'em nine) baskets of laundry, clean the kitchen, post this blog, all the while blasting my music. Shuffle was decidedly kinder to me today. Not that Tracy doesn't hurt. She does.
So that's it. I just wanted to vent this, another oddity in the sea of oddities that is Cheyenne. I'm also curious if anyone else has a problem being home alone? I pose the question, in spite of fearing the onslaught of readers chomping at the bit to put me in my place. But go ahead. My music is too loud for me to hear you.