The Not-So-Single Parenting

My husband was out-of-town for four days earlier this week (Saturday to Tuesday to be exact.) He’s gone. I’m gone. I feel like we both end up on our own semi-regularly. It’s hard on everybody, but part of what we do.

As snow-mageddon rolled into the East Coast, I was convinced that there was almost zero chance he would be making it home as planned. No woman has ever done a happy dance in an open work environment, like I did Tuesday morning when I knew he would be making it home. Seriously. Jay Cutler and I might be soul sisters, because I think he might have had a similar feeling earlier this week as well.

The start of my not-so-single parenting was rocky at best. We had gone out for breakfast Saturday morning and taken two cars so my husband could head straight to the airport. We pulled out of the restaurant parking lot and Littles immediately started crying for her blankie and Birthday Bear. This was a crisis either to be averted by stopping home for an extra set of keys and driving to the airport to get that dang bear or hopefully meeting to exchange it. Husband was a doll and turned right around. Praise Jesus!

A massive number of YouTube videos were watched by my children over the weekend. If you haven’t heard of Disney Collector, you are missing out. Just saying. To be fair, I love to play with my kids and packed up puzzles and games for our trip to the car dealership to get my oil changed. What I learned in our visit is that taking your kids with you speeds up the service, just like it does at the Target pharmacy (although they have to be screaming bloody murder there and likely have secretions from their eyes for it to really work.) We did a puzzle and game all together and I was pleasantly surprised when they said we were all set. I packed and wrapped everybody up only to walk out to my filthy car. (Car washes are part of the service.) I am so cheap, I told them it had to be done, in spite of it being easier to do it myself with the kids securely buckled in their seats while we went through a car wash. We went back to the waiting area and watched college basketball with six other customers (two of which took a page out of my book and complained about lack of car washing.) Bigs is a bit of a sports nut and he comes by it honestly. His rambunctious cheering (at every play) makes him irresistible. As we packed up for a second time the kids got compliments from the other patrons on their great behavior. (Yes, I’m totally bragging.)

Naps went smoothly. I had a babysitter coming for a girls’ night out.  They day was improving at lightning speed. GNO was a lot of fun catching up with friends and painting pottery. I haven’t gotten my finished product back and may never pick it up, because in my mind I’m an artist and can stay that way without evidence of the end result.  Two glasses of wine likely aided in my memory of the quality of work. When I got home the kids were nestled in bed sleeping and I enjoyed my book.

Littles was up at 2:45 a.m. Then 3:30. Bigs at 4:30. Finally everybody was awake at 5:19, not to fall back asleep. There isn’t enough PlayDoh in the world to entertain your way out of a 5:19 wake-up, unless you are one of my children’s grandmas. I pulled out all my tricks before 9:30 a.m. and to think I had hoped to take them to church that morning. Insert DVD. Then spend 20 minutes getting children outfitted for 10 minutes of outdoor winter play. Bigs was out for longer than that, but you get the idea. Lunch and nap time (Did you just hear angels singing? Yeah, me too.) couldn’t come soon enough. I made chicken noodle soup for lunch, which both of them spurned. I may or may not have mumbled expletives under my breath about them their behavior. No surprise, Littles crashed out for her nap.  Bigs wanted to play in our basement (that isn’t at all scary), but not by himself. I told him I wanted to take a nap and wouldn’t do it in the basement. He used his best problem solving skills and invited me to read my book in his bed while he played there for his quiet rest time. Bigs woke me up when the timer went off to end his quiet rest time and inform me that he was going to watch some videos. I FELL BACK ASLEEP! Rest assured, I got up and played games with Bigs while Littles finished her night’s worth of sleep called a nap.

After my complete and utter lunch failure, I took the path of least resistance and ordered pizza. (Do you see my mother of the year nomination developing?) Baths after with a call to Mimi to wish her a happy birthday in their birthday suits. I tucked myself in by 8:30, but read for over an hour. My first wake-up call was at 3:15 and then again an hour later, but it was mostly a good night with both little bodies nuzzled into me by the time we all got up at 6:00.

In nothing short of a miracle, we were on our way to school before the clock struck 7:00. Drop off was a breeze and I was into work before 8:00. My goal had been 8:30. By Monday’s pick up we were all worn a bit thin. Littles spent the entire 20 minute car ride home crying for daddy. I served leftover pizza, which went over well. I found leftover lamb shank for myself, which was divine. Bigs fell asleep during his last story and all was well. Except that I stayed up until 11:00. (Name calling is perfectly acceptable. What was I thinking?) The most miraculous thing about miracles is that they sometimes actually happen. Nobody woke me up or crawled in bed with me until 5:00 a.m. at which time I played possum until 6:00.

Drop off Tuesday was nothing short of torture. Our daycare is amazing, but it was the sort of drop off where you feel like the teachers are giving you the side-eye and secretly praying that you just walk away. Littles refused to take her jacket off, which resulted in me taking her blankie and dolly away until she did (or not). Littles 1, Mommy 0. I did wrestle her to the ground, take it off, and hang it up myself. Thankfully it was early so no other parents saw my three year-old own me. I’m sure the teachers could hear it all.  ::sigh::

8:51 a.m. text comes through, “Just landed. See you tonight!” Ridiculous happy dance cannot be contained.

In summary:

  1. I’m a heavy sleeper, so maybe I’m the only one getting good sleep on the regular at our house. I swear, our kids are really good sleepers too except when one of us is away.
  2. I love when my kids sleep in bed with me. I don’t love that sometimes they just want to talk to me in the middle of the night like I’ve had my second cup of coffee already.
  3. There is no way to express enough gratitude that my husband does most of the dropping off and picking up at daycare.
  4. What did my mother ever do without YouTube?
  5. God bless, older ladies who make me feel good about my kids’ behavior.
  6. Did I mention that school called to say Littles has pink eye and can’t come back until Thursday? This clearly proves the existence of God, because there is no other explanation of how it was avoided while my husband was gone.
  7. Have your eyes started itching yet? Mine have.

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