This morning it’s cool and rainy in Halifax, and both Charlie & Daisy arrived late; this never bodes well, as it usually means they were up late the night before. I decided we’d head to the library where they have an extensive children’s section with lots of toys appropriate for the preschool crowd.
I do this every couple of months or so, and honestly, I should have my head examined. It always puts me in a bad mood. Today I saw:
- a mother chastising a child, not her own, who found a dinky car lying unattended and started to play with it. “That is MY SON’S very special toy! He doesn’t want anyone else playing with it, and you need to give it back. It belongs to HIM.” (for the record, the child who found the toy is 3.5, and the baby who is SO ATTACHED to this dinky car was nowhere to be seen);
- another mother who held onto a toy school bus that her son wasn’t playing with; he didn’t want anyone else to play with it either, so she said “I’ll keep it safe until you want it again” and held it clutched in her lap for 45 minutes;
- three different moms who approached other moms sitting alone to strike up conversation… in every case, they were Arbonne salespeople looking to add more people to their MLM scheme;
- a young mom wearing a sweater that didn’t reach mid-thigh, matching knee-high rain boots, and no pants. Nor tights, nor leggings – nothing. And when she bent over, it quickly became clear that she spends a small fortune on waxing but very little on underwear. (Yes, I realize as a feminist I’m not supposed to ever judge what another woman wears, ever, but if you’re in a children’s playgroup and I can see your business every time you bend over YOU NEED TO PUT ON SOME PANTS.)
- four of those amber teething necklaces, which have no scientifically-proven benefit and are actually dangerous;
- three kids with facial rashes and two with green mucous actively streaming from their nostrils;
- and a dad who missed two belt loops on his jeans and so was generously giving us all a clear view of the crack of dawn.
Really, it was too much nudity for a Wednesday morning preschool playgroup.
It also became evident almost immediately that Charlie was in no shape to be out in public. He kept going for toys that we have here at my house, and if another kid already had it, he’d stand in front of them, head bowed, lower lip protruding, the very picture of misery and woe. He toppled headfirst into a wooden toy bin (while my back was turned, naturally) and I got tut-tutted.
Then when I tried to check books out, I had $13 in overdue fines. Sigh. THEN when we got home and had lunch, Charlie did everything but eat. He also had a disco freak-out when we were washing our hands before and after lunch – guess why? Because he is wearing a short-sleeved shirt today so he couldn’t pull his sleeves down.
I think I’m once again hitting my “being around other people” limit. Used to be that when the older kids were at preschool Charlie would relish the opportunity to play by himself, not needing to share anything; not so much anymore. He now uses it as his chance to get a word in edgewise. He chatters non-stop about anything and everything, and when he runs out of things to say he takes a breath and starts over from the beginning. Then, at naptime, I used to get a solid 60 to 90 minutes to myself; George would play with Lego and I could have a cup of tea, start dinner, do laundry, tidy up.
The arrival of New Baby has thrown a monkey wrench in that schedule. She only comes in the afternoons, just as naptime is starting. At home she’s on a two-hour morning nap schedule, so she’s awake and looking for stimulation just when I used to have my needed quiet time. That’s fine, it’s OK, she’s pretty easy to amuse and a bright little thing, but it means that I am literally never alone. I wake just about every morning to George asking me if it’s morning yet, I spend the entire day with people, the last kid goes to bed at 8:30 and then I do my best to be a not-terrible wife for a couple hours before I go to bed.
Anyway, this is a lot of complaining and it’s really not as bad as this post makes it sound; generally speaking things are OK but I am actually thinking about setting my phone alarm to get me up at 5. When I was doing that over the weekend, I really enjoyed that hour or so of solitude. I won’t do it every morning, but I think tomorrow I will. Clearly, I need a little time to myself and around here, that is a rare commodity.
Serious question – how do you find time to yourself? How much do you need to stay happy?