Friday, September 21, 2007

The agony of alone time

I got some time to myself the other night. Translation: I went to the grocery store. Good times. It probably would have been much easier to just make it a girl’s night and take the baby with me, but I was determined to have some alone time. So after I put the baby down for the night, I got in the car and buckled in not three people but just myself. All the way to the store I kept glancing into the backseat out of habit to make sure everyone was okay back there.

Not being a really big fan of grocery shopping, I arrived at the store and immediately went into “quick” mode. As I rocketed through the produce section, I came to my senses and realized that, hey, I might not be sitting in the bookstore with a latte but I should slow down and smell the roses. Or in this case some nice fresh scallions. I said to myself, “Isn’t this great?! Nobody is shouting at, or climbing on, me!”

Even though I knew that my sweet little girl was tucked in for the night and that my husband is mostly capable of taking care of my little man for an hour (as long as there are not any poopy diapers involved) I felt a little anxiety that they were not within arm’s reach. How my husband can go out for hours in the evening after being gone all day at work, I do not know. From the cereal aisle all the way to the frozen foods I kept wondering, “what if someone needs me?” That thought was immediately followed by, “why do I do this to myself?” The whole time I was at the grocery store I just wanted to go home. What is wrong with me?

Yes, it is easier to complete the errand alone. There is no sitting my son in the shopping cart and squashing my daughter into the sling. No shouting at anyone to stop pulling cans off of the shelves and to keep their hands inside the cart at all times. But is it really worth it? As long as I don’t linger over the crackers comparing prices for too long and cause my son to go into convulsions at the lack of movement it probably isn’t. Although it is nice to pick out an ice cream flavor without having to consult the husband!

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