Home Alone

Hubby and the kids extended their stay down South for a few days recently and I found myself Home Alone. Well, technically, I wasn't alone, since the baby came back with me. But the way I figure it, you're on your own until the day your progeny shouts from the high chair, "Mom, is that Chunky Monkey on your diet?" So, as I was saying, I found myself home alone.

And I did what any self-respecting woman would do if a world of possibilities suddenly, gloriously opened up to her. I went to the grocery store. Wait. It gets even better. I'm going to let you in on a little secret that my husband still doesn't know: I went a little crazy there.

I skipped giddily down aisle after aisle, flinging foods into my cart that I never knew existed. Scones with currants! What are currants?! Who cares? I want them! I wept in the dairy aisle, reaching for a name-brand gouda that wasn't, and never would be, on Temporary Price Reduction. I rejoiced in the bread aisle, knowing that for two self-indulgent days I could have a dark, low-fat, high-fiber fling without a single child groaning, "yechhhh!"

I came home laughing. Ha ha ha! But more decadent surprises awaited me. I wanted a drink of water. And as I reached into the cabinet, I realized that I didn't have to drink out of the green cup. I could have light blue! Or dark blue! Or even white! Wait...I had enough hours left to drink out of every single one of them! And look! There's the dishwasher! It's almost too daring to admit this, but I ran it when it wasn't even full.

But that is not all. Oh, no, that is not all. I took a shower until there was no more hot water. I didn't floss. I stayed up until 2 a.m. reading a novel. What's a novel? I don't know, but I want to read one! The next morning, I wandered down to the bakery and bought the largest cup of coffee they had. Then I had another. I ate chocolate bread for breakfast, read another novel with the time I saved not having to pack lunches, skipped lunch (boring meal!), and ate cereal for dinner. Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cereal. Two bowls. (Hey, I'm nursing. I need the calcium.)

But, alas, I was running out of time. The plane was landing at 9 p.m. So I unloaded the dishwasher to destroy the evidence. Then I grabbed the baby and sat down. I held her and listened to the sweet, simple sound of her breathing. Just the two of us. For one peaceful, uninterrupted hour. Then we headed for the airport.

Of course, I was happy to see them. And when they asked me if I had been lonely, I said, "Well, a little, I guess." So please, let's keep the details of my wild adventure to ourselves. After all, if my husband ever delights me with currant scones, I'd never want him to know he wasn't the first.


Gail Rosenblum's humor column appears in parenting publications around the country. She is interim editor of Minnesota Parent.