It’s been almost seven years since the girls’ dad and I separated, and so you could say I’ve gotten used to this whole single parenting thing. Certain struggles have gotten easier as the girls grew from toddlers to actual little kids (god bless the fact that they sleep past 5 a.m.!), from little kids to medium kids, from medium kids to the adorable beings they are now – a moody and laughy mix of medium kids and tweens. We’re constantly growing into each other and adapting our schedule to changing school demands and activities and what have you.
Of course, that kind of centers around our schedule being schedule-y. (Shoosh. If you had the kind of day I have, you wouldn’t care that I was making up words.) The Ex is out of town this week, and so this week I am extra solo. Super single-parenting. And my day – it was A Day.
- The Ex normally drops the girls off at school because my shift at work starts so early. The fact that he’s out of town mean that I have to drop the girls off at school, which means that we get to sleep in. Woo hoo! Yeah, so it’s only an extra 30 minutes – it feels like a lot more than that!
- Except the NOAA weather radio went off at 5 a.m. And 5:40 a.m. And 6:10 a.m. So much for “sleeping in” until 6:30!
- Woke up the girls. Doled out morning hugs. Made waffles to order. Reminded the girls to brush teeth and hair at 7 a.m. if I wasn’t finished with my nebulizer treatment. Because of course my asthma is acting up.
- Grabbed the office football pool spreadsheet that I forgot on my desk. And my book to read at lunch (Bellweather Rhapsody. Amazing!). Made my lunch thisfast. Poured coffee. Zipped out the door.
- Dropped the girls off at school ten 15 minutes after I’m usually at work. Realized I forgot to warn co-workers that I had drop-off duty this week. Whoops.
- Hit every yellow light on the way to work. Sigh.
- Had a day that was even insane-ier than last week. Used lamaze breathing. Took a break to happy dance over the surprise Supreme Court ruling that ensured marriage equality in five more states. Rejoiced that my girls won’t remember what it was like before love wasn’t allowed for everyone. Went back to Monday freakout.
- Actually remembered to leave for lunch. Read for 30 minutes, napped for 20. Tried to remember who I was for another five before driving back to work.
- Left work on time because HELLO MY DAY.
- Took Fenway for a quick walk.
- Got a text that I didn’t need to get J.Love because her mom got out of work early. Grabbed the girls and asked who had homework. An unfortunate chorus of “MEEEEE!” from the back seat.
- Made a note to call the After-School coordinator at the YMCA and talk about the unacceptable 20 minutes allotted to homework during the 2 1/2 hours of After-School. It’s not like the kids are rotating to practice a play or sing their crucial parts in choir or play soccer and get active (because hello obesity in our schools) – no, it’s to play Uno and board games. Which is not okay when the girls (and all the other kids whose parents I’ve talked to) are coming home with homework every. single. day. Even my nerd who knows how to focus is coming home with leftovers.
- Supervised Bee’s homework while I started dinner (eggs and toast).
- Put away laundry. Put away clean dishes. Loaded the dishwasher with dirty dishes. Cleaned counters. Did some more lamaze breathing.
- Sent Bee off for shower while Gracie took over the kitchen table to work on some more homework.
- Signed planners, left Reading Logs out to remind myself to fill them in and sign them.
- Fished bills out of recycling when Bee said she “helped” put away that pile on top of the container in the garage.
- Made Bee’s lunch to take on her field trip tomorrow – and my own, because I got suckered into chaperoning.
- Changed the air filter and dusted the vent because I was only sort of sure there was a vent under all that crap at this point.
- Set out outfits for the girls to wear tomorrow. Helped Bee dry her hair. Tore Gracie away from her homework and made her shower.
- Sat Bee down and listened to her read her library book from school. Quized her to make sure she understood it.
- Read two chapters of our family read-aloud book (Kate’s Book by Mary Francis Shura; liked it a lot more when I was 10).
- Sent Bee off to brush her teeth and tucked her into bed.
- Went over the list of Gracie’s homework again and kept reminding her to stop dawdling. She was being meticulous. But she had math, spelling, a poster, and a speech (the last of which was postponed) and it was thirty minutes to bedtime.
- Dragged out my laptop and started my post – 14 hours after I usually have it published – to keep my kiddo company.
- Helped Gracie transfer her awfully messy handwritten poster to a colorful, computer-printed job when it hit 20 minutes past bedtime and she was teary and begging for sleep.
And that is just Day 1. Mondays are usually tough at work, but they’re usually not so bad at home. Chaperoning the field trip could be dicey tomorrow, but there is time after for a nap. Or a latte and a bookstore stop. A nice little bribe for myself to just. gut. it out.
Day 2…er, Tuesday…I’ve got my eyes on you. But first – sleep. Eight hours of blissful sleep.