two hours, all by myself!

It's true. I am, at this very moment, sitting in my living room. It is quiet in here. There is no TV, no treehouse, no Bop-It, no screeching and wrestling children. I can hear the ticking clock.

For the next seven Thursdays Elliot will be in nursery school from 8:45 - 11:15. I normally grocery shop on Thursday mornings. Today I decided I could do something that I couldn't normally do with small children wrapped around my legs. I figured I could get a run in.

Then I thought about my quiet quiet house and the plan changed to just sitting here and reveling.

Don't get me wrong, I mostly enjoy my children. But the first person to wax poetic about the pitter patter of little feet obviously didn't have children. By the time those little children are old enough to stand upright on those little feet the pitter patter is more of a thunder.

But not today. There is no thundering of little feet for the next little while. This never happens. With six people living in this house I am never alone. As much as I love my family, and love that this house is full of people, I actually do love being alone too. I know, contradictions. Whatever.

I like quiet. Unless I'm in the van, the radio is never on. The other day I tried to play music for a while, but it didn't take long before it became annoying. I prefer that if nobody is actually watching TV it's off. My mom always has her TV blaring. She likes the background noise. Drives me nuts. When I get to her house the first thing I do is turn down the volume to practically nothing. She doesn't know how I can sit in the quiet. You know which quiet is the best quiet? When the power cuts out. It's amazing how much quieter and already quiet house is when the hydro craps out and the white noise from the electronics, refrigerator, lights, etc. all turn off. That. Is. Awesome. It is so quiet.

I went camping once next to a giant RV that was powered by a gas generator. Imagine my joy, sitting in my campsite, in pseudo-nature, listening to someone's idiot gas generator roar non-stop.

Where was I? Right. Sitting quietly in my house.

Next year Tennyson and Jordan will both be in school all day and Mitchell will go to kindergarten in the mornings. I've enrolled Elliot in nursery school four mornings a week. I have seriously mixed feelings about it. There are days when the kids have had way too much of each other, and they're scrappy and extra messy and under my feet big time, and Elliot makes it all way more fun by freaking out over little things and pinching and biting her siblings that I think holy crap, could September come any sooner? I know she'll love it. We hang out there quite often and she's very happy to be there, and she jumps into her favorite activities with the comfort of a kid who actually belongs there. She's smart, she's funny, she's stubborn, and having a little time away from Mommy will probably do her a world of good.

Then there's guilty Mom. Mother's guilt is freaking awesome. My internal monologue goes something like this:

What the hell is wrong with me? She's this teeny tiny little girl and I'm dumping her off at nursery school to get away from her. Who has kids and then doesn't want to be with them? This is her last couple of years at home, and now I'm not even going to have her home with me. What do I need four mornings without kids for? That's just stupid. When all the other mothers are hanging out with their kids and having playdates I'll be sitting at home all selfishly alone while my tiny daughter is at nursery school and not at home. And then she'll go to kindergarten and then she'll be in grade one and she'll be gone all day and this time will be GONE and I'll have squandered it because I can't find the patience to sit and colour and paint and make playdough and actually spend quality time with my kid. Someday she'll go to therapy and tell her therapist that while her stay at home mom was at home, she was at nursery school because her mom didn't want to be with her. 

See where I'm going with this? I flip flop a lot. One day I think it's a good idea and that she'll love going, the next day I feel like a crappy crappy person for ushering her out the door four mornings a week.

I know.

And then I think it would be awesome if I could do two mornings a week until it snowed, and then when the snow is here and we're all stuck inside for months at a time, the four mornings of nursery school would be a fantastic way for her to get out of the house for a couple of hours.

And then I tell myself that she is awake for  13 hours a day, and that we'll still have at least 10 hours to be together.

And then I tell myself that if I grocery shop on Thursdays it's sad if she can't come because it's time we spend together and she likes grocery shopping and she's a good little shopping companion and she gets a cookie at sobey's and she's the one kid who loves me enough to give me a bite and we spend the entire shopping experience chatting.

And then I tell myself that if I go for coffee at a friend's house and there are kids there that it's dumb for my kid to be off at nursery school while I visit with other people and their kids and that my guilt will reign supreme.

And then I tell myself that I'd have a lot more patience with them and the time that I spend with them will be better if I have a little breathing room. 

Seriously. Help.

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