Today was Cleo's first "real" day at preschool, which meant that I had three whole hours to myself for the first time in 2 years.
Three. Whole. Hours.
How to describe it? I felt like a tiny, wobbly fawn taking its first steps on ice. What on earth was I supposed to do with myself? Where was I to go? How would I go three hours without giving a constant play-by-play of my actions or answering the question, "Why, mommy?"
It was actually pretty pathetic. I didn't want to get too far away on the first day, in case she needed something or exploded, so I opted not to go home and do the dozens of things I would love to do here from cleaning to painting.
First, I went to my parents' house to vacuum 3 pounds of accumulated raisins and goldfish out of my car. Then I went to Goodwill to look for a dresser for Shmoo, although I actually just bought some Old Navy and Baby Gap clothes for Cleo and a henley for my post-baby snuggling needs. One of the advantages of living next to a rich little suburb is that people throw away really nice stuff. Then I decided to find a decadent little coffee shop in downtown Roswell, where I would sit (decadently) and indulge in something frothy to drink and a (decadent) pastry of some sort. Sadly, several of my old haunts have since closed, and the one that was still open had up their "Closed" sign.
Because who needs coffee at a coffeehouse at 10am on a Monday?
So, barring decadent coffeehouse experiences, I went to Krispy Kreme for a hot glazed original. Very posh. Took that and a book to Smith Plantation to read on a bench for the last hour. Picked her up after preschool and couldn't believe how much I had missed her! According to her teacher, she did great, had a wonderful time, and played well with her buddies. I knew she would love it!
Long story short, I think we're both going to benefit from preschool. I'll feel better when we're set in a routine and I can get the cleaning and painting done at home that I yearn to do, but it was still an uncommon problem, trying to figure out what to do with myself. It's amazing that before parenthood, my life was filled with enormous stretches of independent time when I was beholden to nothing and no one. And now that i'm accustomed to having my little companion, I can hardly remember what I used to do before she was here.
The funny part is that the three hours probably lasted a lot longer for me than it did for her. I don't think she even noticed I was gone, which is how it should be.