I’ve said a thousand times, that my perfect job would be a hermit. Turns out, this is an extremely inaccurate statement. For someone who loves being alone as much as I do, I’m really bad at it. Brian had the day off from work today – one of the few national holidays that the university also observes – and, as such, I was given a rare opportunity to do things by myself.
For the most part, I do get to be “alone” even in the presence of the small child. Day-to-day, Lorelei is very independent. She is content to play by herself for big chunks of time while I get things done around the apartment. As long as I’m within five feet of her – or, hell, even within her line of sight – she will happily flip through her favorite books or take blocks in and out (and in and out and in and out) of her storage box. When she doesn’t want to be left alone, she’s good at communicating that to me either with pathetic whimpering or leg grabbing. Even so, I am still a slave to her schedule.
I spent the better part of this morning making my weekly grocery run. On a normal day, I would have to do some intense preparation to avoid potential Lorelei meltdown situations. Grocery lists are mapped out by store, diapers are checked multiple times before departure – in desperate hope for defecation before we leave – and snacks are packed. Today, I spent an hour and hit up three stores. Three. That is almost unheard of when I’m with the baby.
I felt weird. Over the last fourteen months, I have gotten into the habit of narrating everything I’m doing, partly because it’s supposed to help with language development and partly because I could go an entire day without ever opening my mouth otherwise. As I wandered the aisles, I found myself talking (quietly) to myself as I would if Lorelei had been with me. I imagine I looked like a crazy person. What must that group of college students think of me? Was I a frightening picture of what was to come for them? Spoiler Alert: Probably. Despite my usual love of browsing and wandering, I found myself rushing through the process because I really wanted to be back home with my husband and daughter.
Right now*, I’m in the only place where I feel comfortable going solo these days: the local bookstore. I’m ensconced on a comfortable old sofa with an (empty unfortunately – so sad) peppermint hot chocolate. It’s mostly quiet. The owner is chatting with one customer about ghosts and another is browsing the philosophy section near me. There is nothing and no one demanding my attention and I’m enjoying a rare moment of stillness.
I’m looking forward to going home because apparently I’m no longer an alone kind of person.
*This was written around 4 at the bookstore mentioned above when I had no internet access.