Never Alone

You know what makes me giddy?

An hour at the doctor's office.

No. Really.

Because sometimes, when I go to the doctor, I get to go ALONE. And that brief hour of child-free existence is enough to make my endorphins start jumping around like sugared-up preschoolers in a bounce house.

A couple of weeks ago (which should tell you something; this incident happened a couple of weeks ago and I'm still blissed out by it), I headed to the doctor to get an official diagnosis of the weird, circle rash I've had on my elbow for the past year. It's not red and it doesn't itch and it doesn't react when slathered with garden-variety medicine cabinet lotions and normally, I don't even think about it.

But when it's summer and elbows are exposed 24-7, I'm suddenly reminded that I have a flesh-colored ring on my arm, because my children keep looking at me and yelling (usually across the pool), "Mom! What's that circle thing on your elbow?"

And thanks to Kieran, we've already met our insurance deductible for the year, rendering the rest of 2010 a year of medical jubilee.

Thus, I found myself blissfully alone one Friday morning with my Blackberry and coffee. I traded baby name stories with the nurses and joked with the doctor. (“I think it’s this weird Latin phrase,” he said after looking at my arm, “but I got a D in Latin so I can’t remember the name.” “You could make it up,” I whispered. “Because I never even took Latin. So go ahead. I won’t know!”) I read a few blogs and checked Twitter and let the thoughts that normally swirl in my head at the velocity of a tornado settle down for a few minutes of peace.

It was heaven.

I don’t have a high need for solitude. And that’s a good thing, because my life right now isn’t conducive for much alone time. With all four kids at home for the summer, no grandparents or babysitters nearby and a husband who’s working crazy hours, I might get one hour a week when I’m off-duty.

I might not even get that.

And I’m OK with that. Or maybe I should say: I've made peace with it. It doesn’t mean I don’t have long, hard days. But I didn’t go into motherhood expecting to have extended family in the area, and I was already intimately aware of the long hours and frequent business trips my executive husband puts in at his job. I knew going in that I was going to have to make peace with the constant together and not resent the fact that I’m almost always surrounded by my children. We go to Target together, we make weekly Trader Joe’s run together, we go to the pool together, we make dinner together. It’s just the way it is.

But it does make the scraps of alone time I do get that much more sweet. Which is why I found myself floating as I left the doctor’s office the other week.

Maybe I can sprout a rash on my foot before school starts in a month.


  1. Oh how I get that, that is why I love going to work! The quiet is surreal!

  2. I hear ya! and the sad part is that I don't even get dr visits! the kids usually have to come with me. :-I I draw the line at the gyno, though! lol.

  3. LMAO! I so get that. ANY time to ourselves, even if it is for a doctor's appointment, can feel like Heaven. B/c we do not ever get enough time.

  4. This is me: "With all four kids at home for the summer, no grandparents or babysitters nearby and a husband who’s working crazy hours, I might get one hour a week when I’m off-duty."

    Now, I'm looking for a rash, hoping for some reason to go to the doctor. Now that I think about it, I haven't been in forever. Maybe I need a check-up.

    Oh boy, glad to know I'm not the only one that feels like that!

  5. And once again, the comments show that you aren't alone in your quest to be occasionally alone.

  6. I like going to the OB/doctor alone so I can read dumb magazines I'd never read normally. I take my time driving. More than once, I've taken the interesting way home...I so, so get this!

    (although I haven't gone alone the past few times...hubby has to drive me)

  7. you could always roll around in some poison ivy :)

  8. I have a high need for solitude, so I'm feeling these same things a lot lately, and baby #4 isn't even here yet! I wish I could go to the doctor alone, but a certain 2-year old loves to go with me, and there's no one to keep her, so we make it a date. It's not too bad-I almost always get a starbucks for both of us, and she loves seeing her baby brother on the ultrasound screen (though she has learned to pee in a cup by watching me).

  9. Oh my goodness, YES...for me it's the dentist! Getting to spend an hour+ reclined on a cushy chair while other people tend to me is like going to a spa (if it's a regular cleaning, of course...other procedures aren't so relaxing :)).

  10. mmmmhmmmm. me too. The doctor's office is such a peaceful place for witty banter and socialization :)

  11. Couldn't help but come back and comment. I kept thinking about this post today. I took all 4 kids to the doctor for an appt for the youngest. It was the opposite of everything this post represents. They did fine. It was not relaxing. And there were shots. Ah, now we are enjoying a relaxing afternoon at home. Well, as relaxing as possible, anyway.