I actually admitted to a friend last night that I find myself looking forward to the hours (or days) spent birthing this baby in the hospital because it means I get to have a frigging break! I felt insane saying this at the time, only to have her tell me when she was having her second child she felt the same way!
I have come to realize being at home alone with a toddler all day really sucks. I don't know how women have done this for centuries...maybe they had more easily accessible community than we do now; maybe they were so delighted to have survived childbirth that they didn't care what came after! I feel like all I do all day long is try to kill time. I spend an inordinate amount of time driving, sometimes to get B to nap, sometimes because being at home and pulling his hands off of things and trying to keep him from climbing on top of the piano is just too much for me to handle. It's all just to make it to bedtime so I can get out my paperwork and get to work, an area where I feel completely competent and in control, as opposed to parenting, where I feel largely incompetent and out of control.
As I drive around I think of how many people like me are in those cars - sleep deprived new parents, parents of toddlers who have stopped napping and this is their one shot at it for the day. How many people are in that Starbucks drive thru line just killing time so their children will sleep. I don't even want the damned latte. I just want to kill an hour and Bumpus to sleep.
I have been thinking of using the baby kennel every weekend whether I need it or not. I have only ever used it when I had appointments on weekends or to see movies...but I think as the pregnancy progresses and once the baby is here, I might just book it every weekend so I have a few hours to myself to get things done around the house, or even, dare I say it, sleep? It's sort of a way of getting a pseudo-preschool; not really committing to anything, just getting him in the habit of being somewhere and socializing with other kids. We already go so often that he loves it now - runs away from me and doesn't even look back. When I ask him if he had fun when I pick him up he always enthusiastically says, "yeah!" I don't have much on the schedule for Feb or March for obvious reasons that I need sitters for - but I think I will give myself the gift of a little weekly break. It's going to feel weird but I think I really need it for my soul.
In the meantime I am going to check out free indoor play areas at malls and other public places - and maybe try to set some kind of schedule for us so we have places to go and things to do. You know, like on this day we go to the nice little park in South Pas, this day we have a play date with so-and-so, this day we do the drum circle, this day we go to that coffee shop with the play area in the afternoon, etc. I know a routine would be beneficial for both of us. As mentioned, I'm sure we're both a lot more pleasant to be around when we've had a fun, full day!