Friday, November 6, 2009

My Week As A Single Mom

So I've been flying solo this week.  And you know what?  It hasn't been too bad....

Oh sure, we've had our moments.  Rollie biting Elsa on the heel.  Elsa getting her hand stuck in the oven.  Me being hungover after having only two beers and a cocktail.  The dog running away.  But on the whole, it's been a relatively uneventful week so far.  

I think it's all about attitude.  If I'd gone into this week expecting to get anything done, anything at all, I would be on my seventh or eight nervous breakdown right about now.  But I went into this week knowing that the house would look like hell, I would look like hell, and my children would behave like hellions.  I figured I may as well embrace my absolute lack of progress on anything, let the applesauce congeal on the baseboards, the dirty laundry fester in the hamper, the emails go unanswered and the blogs neglected.  My priority this week was to make through each day without wishing I could have an IV of wine tapped directly into my right arm.  

I think I've almost made it.  I mean, it's only Tuesday (at least, it was when I first started this it's Friday evening), my children are still alive, and I'm hovering somewhere around a 5 on my insane-o-meter. The only reason I have been able to write at all is my parents have arrived like a cavalry coming over a grassy, juice-stained, toy-strewn hill.  Dah-dah-dah-DAH! (That was supposed to be trumpets blaring in jubilation.)

Of course, now that my parents are here, my Swiffer is getting quite a work out (see July's entry, Payback's A Dirty Swiffer).  I bet they're secreting relishing in my current role as mother of two young, energetic, somewhat willful children.  There they sit on my couch, my beloved Mom and Dad, quietly chuckling to each other and eating leftover Halloween candy as I dash around wiping up crumbs, doling out snacks, keeping Rollie from biting/hitting/yelling at Elsa and vice versa.  "Someone's poopy," they'll announce from their comfortable perch, neither making a move to change the offending diaper.  When it comes to helping me out, they like to be passive.  "Elsa," they'll call, "Don't stick your hand in the pot of boiling water."  Even if they're like, holding said pot, they'd rather see me sprint across the house to stop her than do it themselves.  I think they get some sort of sick pleasure in watching me sweat, in making me work.  They see it as retribution for raising a litter of children.

I guess I can't blame them.  They've already played this game.  They're grandparents now, and there's a biiiiiiiig difference.  They're available for happy times only.  No diaper changing, no tantrum taming, no disciplining Rollie for drawing somewhere he's not supposed to with chalk.  That's my job.  (By the way, does anyone know how to remove chalk from a mesh window screen?)

All week I've been telling them how amazed I am that they managed to raise my siblings and to be relatively decent, law-abiding contributors to society (more or less).  And all week they've just nodded, unwrapped another Fun Size Snickers bar, and said, "Rollie, you might not want to poke at that fire-ant-hill."  

Jeff will be home in 45 minutes.  Dah-dah-dah-dah! (More trumpets blaring in jubilation.)

Side Note: The author would like to add that she really does appreciate all the help her parents have given her these past 24-hours, and if they want to baby-sit Rollie and Elsa tomorrow night, her parents can eat all the Snickers they want.

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