Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Solitary Confinement, Please

I haven't been blogging much lately.  I would apologize, but I'm not sorry.

It seems like every five minutes Caedmon is dumping an entire carton of orange juice on the floor, or Atticus is painting his bedroom walls with fingernail polish, or Adelaide is crying because her best friend told her he's moving back to India next year, or Adelaide is calling me up the stairs hours after bedtime, and when I ask why her nose is bleeding, she tells me that it's because Atticus shoved a Q-tip up her nose.

I've been feeling worn down.  Out of steam.  At the end of my rope.  The consequence of all these cliches is that I'm irritable and generally unpleasant to be around.  Believe it or not, my crankiness isn't directly attributable to the everyday events listed in the previous paragraph.

It's because I haven't been able to spend much time by myself.

What kind of person are you?  Are you a "people person"?  Do you love spending oodles of time with others, and require very little time alone?  Or do you crave lots and lots of solitude?

Between those two extremes, I'm probably somewhere in the middle, though definitely closer to the solitary end of the spectrum.

Now guess how much a five, three, and one year old care about my need for time alone.

Yesterday, at 2:30 pm, Caedmon was down for his nap, Atticus had finally quieted down, and I had completed everything on my afternoon list. I had thirty minutes until I needed to get the boys up and ready to go get Adelaide.

I had just settled down with a book, when the phone rang.

My first, instinctual thought was, Whomever that is on the phone, I'm going to write their name down.  Then I'm going to drive down to Oklahoma to Dad's house.  Then I'm going to borrow one of his guns.  Then I'm going to drive to wherever that person lives, and I am going to make them feel a world of hurt for not leaving me alone for FIVE FREAKING MINUTES.

Then I answered the phone, because I'm always afraid if I don't answer it, it will inevitably be the police or a family member telling me a loved one has died.  We don't have caller ID on our landline.

Luckily for them, by the time I settled down enough to answer the phone, the caller had hung up.

I spend the remaining twenty-five minutes immersing myself in a new library book.  It's about a young woman struggling to make her way in the Arizona Territory in the late 1800's.  It made me thankful for things like vaccinations and indoor plumbing.  It has also entered my list of top twenty- maybe even top ten- favorite books ever.

That is the power of books for me.  It gives me fresh perspective and the strength not to kill my children.

I have a feeling that today they will provide much-needed humor: When Caedmon sees photos of P.D. James on the backs of her books and says, "Grandma?"  Or when he tells us that cows say, "moo," horses say, "neigh," and pigs say, "La la la!"- pronounced, "Boooo," "Nay," and "Ya ya ya!"

Thank you, Sandra Boynton.


  1. I was fervently agreeing with you just from seeing the title on my blog list.

    And I had to laugh about the phone ringing. If you asked my kids what I say when the phone rings they would tell you "WHY are people always CALLing me?!"

    I also have no idea who I am anymore. Five years ago I would have told you I am an extrovert, no question. These days, I'm starting to wonder if I'm an introvert. I enjoy being around people, but MUST retreat to some solitude to be energized. And I recently read most bloggers are introverts. Who knew?

    Escaping into a book? Sounds heavenly. I vote we find a conference to run off to (justification, you know), leave kiddos with hubbys, split the cost of a motel room and bring a stack of books. I'll bring the Pepsi and chocolate! :)

    1. I'm there. I'll just swap out the Pepsi for cold milk, bring a slab of chocolate, and a stack of books.

      I've always been an introvert, but find I'm actually happier when I force myself to be a little more gregarious than what comes naturally.


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