Decompression: A Parent's First Night Alone in Four Years

Categories: Parenting

Photo by Jef With One F
Any night that starts with Doctor Who at Alamo Drafthouse is a good night
Something happened last Saturday, something that I have completely forgotten existed...I had the entire house to myself for the evening. My wife has her clinical rotation from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. in this semester of nursing school, and my sister-in-law offered to keep the kid overnight so they could go to church together in the morning.

I literally could not comprehend five hours of silence. I'm a very active husband and parent, always on call to sweep up messes, fetch foodstuffs, start the laundry and just in general hop to in whatever situation requires an energetic hopper. It's been four years since last I was by myself with no obligations.

You know those anglerfish that live way down at the bottom of the ocean? Know why you never see them in aquariums? It's because bringing something that lives under all that pressure up to the surface makes their bodies explode from the sudden lack of that pressure.

I didn't explode, but it was a strange experience nonetheless.

See also: Doctor Who: The Doctor and I Explain Death to a Four-Year-Old

Hour One: When I got home, the first thing I did was shed every stitch of clothing that I had on. This wasn't just me being elated that I didn't have a four-year-old girl itching with curiosity and the desire to see a human wiener. It's also that my car has no air conditioning and it had been a long drive back from Katy and the Doctor Who screening.

I literally wrung out my shirt over the bathtub. After that, I just enjoyed feeling cold air on my skin as I put away the screwtop wine I was planning on making fast friends with later on. Then I grumbled as I put on new clothes because I did still have to take the dog to crap in the heat.

Hour Two: I'm always telling myself that I would get so much more writing done if I could just come home from the day job and not be bothered for three hours. This Saturday I proved that this is the opposite of true. Sure, I fired up the laptop and busted out a couple of little fluffy articles, but just as I found out the first time I typed "boobs" into Infoseek as a teenager, I realized that an empty house and terabytes of pornography is way too much temptation.

Of course, I guess it's also a testament to how lame I've gotten in my 30s that I got distracted by a documentary on collecting Street Fighter memorabilia. Of course, I'm not someone with an entire wall dedicated to Street Fighter so I can't be that lame... on the other hand I did look up the Chun-Li shower scene before logging off so I'm probably still pretty lame.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
Wayward Shepherd
Wayward Shepherd

At Moon Tower-Inn Houston, or Houston Museum of Natural Science


Happens to me everytime! I ask for the alone time...and i never relax, or do anything i need to do if i had free time...

MadMac topcommenter

See, that's why I made my Mrs. sign a prenup. I go first.


Since I am only generally alone when I am in my car going to and from work, I can relate. My wife and our last child in the house went on a two day trip to New Braunfels while I stayed home to work and I absolutely did not know what to do. The house was extremely clean when they returned. I should put in place a contingency plan in the event this happens to me again.

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault



Health & Beauty