I wish I could buy a round of drinks for each every single working parent out there. But seeing as I blow all my money on mud runs, you will just have to accept this card instead.
For a whopping 64 hours, I had to play the part of a single mom. Jay was away on a business trip to East Bumblefuck, Kentucky while I was home. Alone. With 3 dogs and a toddler.
The first obstacle to my sanity, was a trip to Petsmart for Nilla’s final beginner obedience class and graduation. Typically, Jay stays home with X or brings him to the gym. I run home from work with exactly 30 minutes to:
- load the seat protector and dog carrier into the car,
- locate Nilla’s leash which somehow manages to be in a different spot in the house each time I use it,
- wrangle the hyperactive dachshund and clumsy cane corso into their cages,
- get nilla into the dog carrier,
- listen to her cry for the 15 minutes it takes to get to Petsmart,
- hurry to get her out of the car with 13 seconds of the car parking because that is the precise time she begins to get carsick.
But this time I had to add in:
- leave work 2 hours early,
- pick up Xavier from the sitter,
- bring him to the 3:30 pediatrician for his 15 month well-baby visit,
- head home to find his diaper bag, sippy cup, piggy, moo cow and snack cup,
<insert regularly scheduled dog school day tasks>
- load X into the car,
- wonder where that sippy cup got to,
- run back inside to find the sippy cup,
- locate the sippy cup in the garbage can,
- wash the sippy cup,
- fight with the Maclaran stroller because that thing hates me and will not open up no matter what I do,
- untangle Nilla’s leash from around both the base of the stroller and her front right and rear left legs.
Luckily, Nilla was the only dog out of the 4 enrolled in the class that actually showed up to class that rainy day. Did I mention there was a rainstorm outside? And that Xavier screams when I put his jacket on? And that Nilla is a priss and doesn’t like being out in the rain? She completed her final exam in just a few minutes (watch me, sit, down, leave it, loose leash walk, come when called,) put on her cap and gown and got her diploma. We were out of there after half an hour as opposed to the usual one hour of treats and drool and lint rollers.
The next day was yet another doctor appointment. This time with the ear nose and throat guy to try to figure out why X gets ear infections more often than most people change the oil in their cars. This would have been just as much of a hassle with or without a spouse because we very rarely get to go to appointments together anyway. What would have been better would be that when I got home from the ENT, the dogs would have already been let out and dinner would have been being prepared. Instead, I had to do the super bad mommy thing and get drive-through McDonald’s. My inner fat chick was thrilled. My intestinal system was not. If I actually was a single mother, I’d either starve to death or be incredibly obese from eating like that all the time.
Later that night, while I tried to pick up stray french fries and McNugget breading, the Tornadler (tornado + toddler) decided he wanted to help straighten up his toys.
So that night, instead of folding and putting away laundry, I was shoving my fingers in the tiny little opening of the metal vase trying to coax out a dozen or so wooden blocks, 4 duplos and 3 puzzle pieces. I may have a future in proctology.
Jay and I typically have a method of getting chores done. After the baby goes to bed, one of us takes care of cleaning up the after-dinner mess and one of cleans up the eighty-bazillion toys that X pulls out of his toybox on a daily basis. Without my partner, it was all one thing at a time. And after juggling the baby and three dogs (and nursing my pulled/torn shoulder from some mystery injury) I was flat out exhausted. I would do one thing and collapse into a ball on the couch.
I don’t know how you single moms out there do it and I am in awe of you. I’m amazed that you are able to find clean clothes. I am curious to know how you cook or pack lunches with kids trying to crawl up the back of your legs. How do you get anywhere on time? I wonder why you aren’t all alcoholics.
I’m going to go have a glass of wine now.
Well, after I dig the Goldfish out of the toy box.