Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Alone Time Unicorn

It's happening.
I'm actually having
wait for it


Quiet, blissful, rare as gray hair on a baby alone time.

Well, if you remove the dog's weird reverse breathing that she does it's quiet and blissful.
She only does that when she gets excited, though, so maybe she's loving the moment, too.
Her giant Boston Terrier eyeballs bugged out with glee.

The baby is in bed, the little girls are finally sleeping, Justin's at work, and Alena got invited to go see The Hunger Games for the sixth time down at the ghetto three dollar theater.
The theater that hasn't been vacuumed in about 14 years.
That's why they can charge so little.
They save on things like cleaning supplies and fresh paint and warm water in the bathroom sinks.

Also, Alena's at the age where it doesn't matter what it is or where it is as long as it's away from home and it keeps her from having to go upstairs and get something for me.

I don't even know what to DO with alone time any more.
I always think I want it and I'll use it doing spa-like things.
Soaking my feet or painting my nails.
In reality I watch things on YouTube, stare at my reflection in my magnifying mirror and sigh, or scrape dinner leftovers into the trash while the dog drools giant saliva bubbles beside me because she wants some of the brown rice.

All glamor
all the time.

I feel like there's so much I WANT to do with alone time that when I get it, I get so giddy trying to decide what to do first that I spin in circles and hyperventilate and before I know it, the girls are standing in front of me asking for snacks all over again and I've wasted it all.

Back to reality.

It seems magical, this alone time.
Like a unicorn.
Powerful, mystical, and never ever seen.

I needed it, though.
Those brief moments of silence.
This has been quite a week.

I have endured so much whining this week I deserve some sort of prize.
At the very least a mylar balloon.
I picture the Pope kissing MY hand.
The girls have taken turns crying like they're in a relay race, passing the baton of terror, and the time-out chair has stayed perpetually warm for days.

It's getting to the point where I'm trying to figure out new consequences for them.
Bigger than taking toys away.
Bigger than going to their rooms to "think about their behavior."
(see: Scream bloody murder and kick the walls)

Like - Den of lions,

I might have even considered posting an ad for them on Craigslist if I could ever remember my stupid password....

And it's not only been the little girls.
I'm seeing in Alena this week the beginnings of what other parents of teenagers have warned me about.
Here I thought I'd get by without dealing with it.
She was so sweet. So innocent.
Now I see the look.
The, "I will be mortified if anyone knows we're together" look.
The look of distaste in anything remotely related to family time.

I could set her up with a week at a chess camp and she'd be like,
"I don't play, but I'm there. As long as there's WiFi."

We got invited to a baseball game in a suite last night that had 18 seats available.
She waited to see where we were sitting and then chose her seat.
If we had been seats 1-4, she would have been in seat 18.
Across the aisle with the other group.
The group she'd never even laid eyes on in her life.
Then she spent the whole time casting mournful sideways glances at us then slowly returning to her book.
I tried taking her picture and she'd just make lame faces on purpose to ruin the pictures.
They were already bad enough from that far distance.
All grainy from the zoom I had to do to try to capture her that far away.

Then the girls cried tonight about VBS.
They don't want to go tomorrow, they said, because today they'd been separated and they "don't like being apart."
You could have fooled me with the daily torture and drawing of blood they try on each other.
Most days I think they'd as soon hit each other in the temples with rocks than play nicely together.
Now they can't be apart?
Go figure.
I guess that's just siblings for you.

I SUPPOSE I was that way.
I mean, I did tell Branch Roth to remove my brother from the trash can he was sticking him head first into in high school.
Even though I agreed with Branch that wearing a matching sweat-suit and transition lenses was grounds for trash can dunking, I didn't want anyone to do it other than me.
We stuck together when we were in public.
We saved the flogging for at home.
Well. I DID.
Darren just laid there minding his own business eating his microwaved burritos.

On top of all this week's crazy, I've had a sick baby and daycare kids, birthday parties and trips to the city. Father's Day and shopping trips. Return lines and grocery stores.

I just never get a moment's peace.
Whatever happened to laying all afternoon on a Fun Island listening to Bob Marley in the summer?
When is a girl supposed to tweeze her eyebrows?
How does one stay on top of their DVRed Master Chefs?

I deserve some down time now, right?


I did.

But now it's over.

Alena just walked in.

I think I'll make a memorial bumper sticker for my car window.
"In memory of Alone Time 2012.
Gone, but not forgotten."

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