Trish goes through orientation for her new job tomorrow through Thursday.

It’s been more than a year since Ella has been left alone with anyone besides her mom or me. So yesterday we hired the English major, Elizabeth, to stay with Ella for a few hours, so they could get acquainted.

Elizabeth showed up promptly at 10. Trish and I spent half an hour showing her the essentials — Ella’s favorite cups, the food, the toys outside. Then we left.

We had nothing to do, so we went to the mall and exchanged some shoes.  We went to Pier 1, and Pier 1 Kids, and back to Pier 1, and back to Pier 1 Kids, and finally back to Pier 1.

Two hours down, two to go.

We went to lunch. By ourselves. Without Ella. Without anyone to take to the bathroom or argue with about not getting a cookie. No one to chase around the restaurant or to wipe up after. Nobody’s clothes to change after that spilled drink.

It was pretty darn boring.

We got home about 20 minutes early.

Ella barely missed us. She and Elizabeth had been to the pool, and watched a movie, and were painting. Ella had been fed and she’d used the toilet, just as if we were here.

Tomorrow, it’s for real.