Friday, September 07, 2007


Yesterday marked a large day in my little universe and yet I let it slide past without immortalizing it in the form of a post.

Sara started school yesterday.

I now have entered into that stage of parenting where I can legally toss my progeny to a state sanctioned institution for 5 hours a day (including bus transit time).

I now have time alone in my house.

Let me repeat that last sentence: I. Now. Have. Time. Alone. In. My. House.

For those of you without small children, you may not fully grasp the hallowed nature of those words.

For almost 9 years, I have had at least one small person with me constantly, unless I'm at work, going to work, or coming home from work. They have been with me in the bathroom. In the closet. Even in the cupboard under the sink where I once tried to grab 5 minutes of 'alone time', wedged between a box of steel wool pads and a petrified banana peel that had escaped the garbage. In one way, it's delightful. I adore my kids and think the sun rises out of their heads in the morning and sets in their behinds at night.

I am also someone who craves time alone.

And now I have it.

For the last year or so, I have met the thought of handing off my youngest child to school with a slight lump in my throat, truth be told. I had quite a time doing so with Colin. He was so small getting on the big, yellow bus all alone. I do miss the small-handed ones when they are away from me and I thought that when the day came to hand Sara off to school, I'd have at least a few tears prickling my eyes, possibly even stooping to openly sobbing.

Nope. I loaded her in the car yesterday, drove us down to school, trotted her down to her class, passed her off to the fabulous Mrs B (who was Colin's beloved kindergarten teacher), kissed her soundly on the cheek and headed for the door. The car keys dancing in my fist.



Or at least I would have been alone, had the repair guy not been waiting at home, trying to fix the satellite and dismantling Charles's rather complicated theater system for much of the afternoon. ("So. What channel does the TV have to be on to get the satellite?" "The one it was already set to." "Oh. I changed some things around." "Well. You're on your own, buddy. Here's Charles's work number. I don't touch that shit.")

But today, there are no repair guys scheduled. There are no errands I am running (sadly, I'm still sickly. Actually getting more sickly. But I'm getting more antibiotics; bigger, better antibiotics, so things WILL be looking up in the future. At some point. Yes?) and I have plans to wear the fabric of the sofa cushions bare with my lounging ALONE for 5 hours, this afternoon. If someone rings the doorbell, they'd better be delivering a large box of chocolates, otherwise I shall cough purulent goo all over them and wither them with my glare of contempt.

And Sara? How is she doing with being abandoned by me? Heh. By 8:00 this morning, she was asking for her lunch, (she'd had her breakfast an hour before) as she knows she gets to get on the bus to go to school after lunch.

I think she's ready for this as well.

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Blogger The Rotten Correspondent said...

Ah yes, the thrill of an empty house. There's nothing I wouldn't do for my kids, but I sure do like my alone time. Ever since school started this year I keep thinking I'm going to be productive and all I'm doing is walking through the house marveling at how quiet it is.

Until 3:45 that is...

PS - I really hope you start feeling better.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Ariella said...

Erik and I were talking about Sara starting school the other day! I can hardly believe it... she seems so tiny and young, still. I remember when we first met her and she would barely even take a look at us, much less go play mini-golf ALONE with me.

Congratulations on your alone time. I still intend to take a day off and spend it with you (one of these days...)

2:57 PM  
Blogger Colleen said...

Too bad your alone time starts when you're sick. Hope those big bad antibiotics do their job quickly! I'll be getting two mornings a week to myself starting next week! I'm making lists already on stuff I need to do without little people around....besides just surfing the web, that is!

4:13 PM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

You may think your Sara is strange for being so excited to go to school, but face it: she's been needing a break from you, too.

I am SOOOOOOOOOOOoo envious. We have another year before Niblet heads to half-day kindergarten. Maybe we need to move farther away from the school, to increase the length of the bus ride.

Now, are you going to be working any of these school days? I mean, I know you work...but when?

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And a great big hug from her adoring Grandpa. I just hope she does not have the first-day-of-school green pukies that her mum was so famous for. (It would, however, serve you well if she did.)

just think that is was only 37 years ago you did the same thing. Best of luck in the following 16+ years of her schooling. And good luck on all that free time in the couch.

The Ole RF-er

12:22 AM  
Blogger Wanderlust Scarlett said...

The first day of school is a wonderful thing for everyone involved. It's exciting, there is possibility and wonder in the air... there is the taste of the unknown, a bit of nerves and clean white paper and little smiles at strangers and library paste coupled with new crayons.

Very good.

Enjoy this time to stretch, bath in hot water, baby oil and rose petals and sip wine in the early afternoon, paint your nails, eat bon bons, read tawdry romance novels, sit in a bookstore for a few hours with a good coffee.

Revel in freedom, milady. Indulge and soak it up, clear to your eyelashes.

I would highly suggest a stop at this website as you start this new epoch in your life... and get their first book. It's a MUST. Start with the first one, you will laugh your backside right off.


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

12:48 AM  
Blogger Dumdad said...

How we adore our kids - and yet we sometimes crave to be alone. It's normal, I think. We all need a time for reflection and quiet.

Enjoy it!

1:53 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Rotten- It is blissful, isn't it? All the lovely quiet. Well, until the dog wants out and the cat sees ghosts along the stairs.

Ariella- She is terribly tiny going up the bus steps. A day of just us would be such fun!

Colleen- Even sick, it was marvelous to just lie like a slug on the couch and watch TLC and HGTV (I was too sluggy to even want to read!)

Jocelyn- You know, not to be poopy, but it's even BETTER than I had imagined. (Moving farther out isn't really such a bad idea, says the woman living outside a small rural district with few busses.) Work? I work 1/2 the week and am home the other 1/2. I have said it before and will say it again: I am blessed with the very best job on the planet.

Dad- Nope. No pukeys. Very excited and then doing her impression of a shrinking violet upon arrival. That'll probably not last long.

Scarlet- Ah, yes. The brand-spanking new school supplies. Such heady delights. Seeing all your friends. Getting to play on the playground at recess. And for me? As soon as I am better, I really CAN trot off to a bookstore and sip on that coffee and start to read that new book I've just picked up at leisure. I'm sorry. I just can't get my head around it.

Dumdad- Crave is the right word. And after the hours alone, it was so good to meet them at the bus and get excited hugs.

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, you can enjoy another 12 days or so of that ALONE time. By then you should need some parental supervision, oh, say about 14 days of it, continuous, absolutely no respite, chatty, nosy, in-your-face (now that you're no longer infectious) full, parental, busybody, super-vision!!!! And we are SO looking forward to that!

Of course, we'll probably just want to lie about, sipping tea and nibbling on baked goods while quietly reading good books. No, not really very good at the old supervision thingie, are we now?

Ahhhh, see you in 12 days.

MG & Mum

1:55 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Oh, Diana, an end of an era for sure! Bittersweet, eh? Well, it does sound like she is really quite ready. Our Kindergarten kids go all day, every 2nd day and man, are they tired at first! There are some kids in Jr. Kind. who are still 3 1/2! I think it's too long a day but it's all about $$ and bussing.

Enjoy your time and you will even more so one you're better so hurry up!

BTW, I had my ear vacuumed and tubed on Fri. without even a sedation needle just topical freezing. It really hurt! They have to work on improving that emla freezing! Brought tears to my eyes.
Gunk and pink watery stuff is still coming out of it and it's still a little painful and my hearing isn't even that much better. I'll give it a few weeks and then if it's still bad, I'm going back. I fear it may really be in the mastoid bone....yikes.)

11:15 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

So clearly it is easier if after the first one goes off. I only have the one so I guess there will always be drama (for me that is).

Hope you are feeling better and the kiddos are enjoying school!

8:22 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Morris- Ah. Good. I'm lining up 'little projects' for the super-visors.

Ruth- Our 5-yr-old kindergarteners go all day but our 4-yr-olds only go 1/2 days 4 days a week. It's plenty. Sorry your ear isn't better than it is. I really, REALLY hope mastoiditis is not on the menu. You certainly don't need that, especially with the diabetes.

Lauren- I think knowing she's in the same place as her brother and that they ride home on the same bus together is what helps. It was hard knowing he was alone with all the big kids on the big bus.

8:52 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Thanks, Diana. yes, I made the mistake of googling mastoiditis and it's not pretty! Well, one step at a time. It's not oozing so much today.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

I know the feeling well. When we sent TFYO off to school, I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the quiet time in the house. Then I got pregnant. Well, at least I have eight more months of some quiet to look forward to.

Oh, and I've tagged you in a meme, participation optional, of course. But you make a lovely cameo in a very silly story.

12:32 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

I don't really know what this is like, of course, not having children. But I do understand that sometimes you just want some alone time. Somedays it is lovely when I have nothing planned, Keem is out of town and the cat finally realizes that, if he wants attention, he should come over to me instead of sitting at the door, mrowing.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Stepping Over the Junk said...

NICE! Enjoy. My little one starts her second year of preschool on Fri. Three mornings a week to work and excercise...something I havent had since early June, on a routine anyway. Next year will be stranger though, with both in full day school 5 days a week. Moms deserve school beginning I think!

7:13 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Congrats on your new few hours of alone time!

Hope you feel better soon!


8:23 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Ruth- Well, less goo is a good sign...

Jen- I don't have to tell you to enjoy the peace while it lasts. I read the meme. Looks fun. I will have to cogitate.

Dana- Poor Eddy. It's always hardest on the children. Perhaps if you smeared your wrists with chicken or fish, he'd pay more attention to the person he belongs to?

Stepping- I think you're right. Pure bliss!

Karen- Thanks. Even ill it's been nice to veg and enjoy the quiet.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

"Even in the cupboard under the sink where I once tried to grab 5 minutes of 'alone time', wedged between a box of steel wool pads and a petrified banana peel that had escaped the garbage."

Hilarious! You are joking about this, right? Either that or you were the size of an elf a few years ago.

I can well imagine how welcome the alone time is! Enjoy, enjoy.

Does this mean we can expect more frequent blog posts from you? No pressure or anything.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Coffee-Drinking Woman said...

Oh!~ precious alone time!

11:16 PM  
Blogger Lioness said...

Oh (/$/(&%"#$()/%&%$!!!!!!!!!!!!

I LEFT A COMMENT!! WHERE IS MY COMMENT?? Oh stupid, stupid blogger, and on such a momentous occasion at that! I'm mad now, mad. MAD!

Now it will be too late won't it, but here it goes, it was along the - obvious - lines of "Congrats, it must feel wonderful!".

Stupid, stupid blogger.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Lioness said...

Oh, and in your honour:

12:33 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

Oh! How cute, first day of school for Sara. I'm glad you get some alone time and hope that you enjoy it now that you're feeling better.

3:17 PM  

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