The Prodigal Mommy: Part I

On Sunday, I did something I haven’t done in ages.

I went out for the day all alone. I left both girls in the care of DearDR from about 11:30 a.m. until 8 p.m.

And it was great. I got so much done, but I also got to do things that I never get to do when I’m running errands with the two girls in tow. (Understandably, it’s getting easier with Monkey, but Bun is quite the little wrench in the works.)

I started out at a certain chain store salon to get some hair removal needs taken care of. This is just not something you should do with your children — especially if they are girls. The day will come when I will introduce Monkey and Bun to waxing (and fun stuff like pedicures), but that day is not yet. There is no need to terrify them with the sight of mommy with wax on her face and/or in proximity to her lady business.

On the other hand, these things need to be tended to even when you’re a married mom. My brows, especially, were embarrassing. As a WOTHM, sleep is too precious, and house-hold duties too pressing, to deal with tweezing of the brows. I’m lucky I manage to floss my teeth a few times a week.

From the hair-removal appointment, I went to get my new phone activated. Again, not something that is easy to do with the children. It only took about 15-20 minutes, but with the girls, it would have easily been an hour of frustration, corralling, distracting, and possibly, yelling. Instead, I got to sit quietly while the nice young man did his thing online and on the phone to get my new Verizon dare phone all shiny. (Honestly, I can’t believe I’m so excited about a dang cell phone. I want to sit and play with it all the time.) I got to ask a couple of questions, or gaze quietly out the window. I didn’t have to pry phone accessories out of anyone’s fingers, and not once did I have to say, “Stop or we’re leaving right now.”

Not once. All day. (Well, not counting 10 a.m. Mass. I don’t know what possessed me to take Bun to church and leave Monkey at home with DearDR. Compassion? Or simple stupidity on my part? I’m open to either.)

I lunched all alone. I had a beer. I took my time. I played with my phone, wrote out my grocery shopping list. No trips in the middle of mac ‘n’ cheese to the potty; no wiping little faces and hands; no apologizing to the waitstaff for that glob of ice cream that went sailing over the back of the booth. (The girls are generally very well behaved in public, but there is that moment between “just enough time” and “time to go right NOW” that is dicey.)

I toyed briefly with seeing a movie, but ultimately decided some shopping was in order. I needed a couple small updates for my spring wardrobe, especially pants for work. And shoes. I haven’t bought new shoes for work in at least two years. Maybe three.

I must have tried on 20 pieces of clothing at least. Unhurried, looking at everything, making sure things really fit and/or matched, not just fit or matched “well enough”. Then, I tried on 10 pairs of shoes — I did not buy 10 pairs of shoes, but the luxury to actually try pair after pair after pair? Priceless. Plus a few (inexpensive) jewelry pieces to complete the outfits (and go with other outfits!). Most of the time when I’m “shopping” for myself, it’s just, “Well, I need something (a tee, a dress, a sweater, jeans) — this looks fine; I’ll try it on at home.” And that’s usually in Target, too, where almost all our other shopping occurs. On Sunday, I went to an actual department store. In an actual mall. And I did not have to spend time in the Germ Pit of children! Or buy treats. (Well, okay, after shopping, I went to a bookstore and got myself a treat. And read a book while eating it!)

And then I grocery shopped without a tiny terrorist (or two in my case; props to BurghBaby for the term) demanding attention and/or more treats. I haven’t grocery shopped that quickly in a long time.

And then I went home, and kissed my girls — and DearDR — and helped get them in bed.

I felt refreshed because of my day alone. I felt relieved. The shoe thing, especially, was weighing on me, which sounds absurd (maybe), but I have been wearing two pairs of shoes that were literally falling apart. I have thrown those in the garbage now. I have new, cute shoes, and every woman knows the power of new, cute shoes (especially when they are on sale).