5/4/10

Single Parenting Sucks

On several occasions over the past few weeks, I have fired up my laptop and readied myself for a blog blast. But sleep overtook me, or the puppy had peed on the floor (again), or the girls were STILL not asleep, and so forth.
After a very long stint as a single parent, I got my husband back from his surf trip, and coincidentally, a glimmer of sanity and some calming of the general chaos has commenced. And thankfully, here I sit, allowing myself a few moments of relfection. Although he appears to be (still) jet lagged, his sluggish presence in our household has brought joy and order to an otherwise jumbling mess of disorder.
Two concrete topics came to mind in his absence, the complications of single parenting and....ahem, dating. I suppose I should save the explanation for that last one for the end:)
From the moment my wonderful, helpful, amazing hubby hit the road, the girls (and the puppy) and I hit the ground running. I had packed the upcoming loneliness with a multitude of distractions in the form of Kid Concerts, playdates, and movie theater plans. The first weekend passed with the help of a babysitter, a fellow surf widow sleepover (kids and all), beach trips and bike rides. By the time we reached day #7, I had a wicked cold, a new understanding of dilerium, and for whatever reason, an affinity for folding clean laundry (WTF?). Whoever this insane spirit was, that had overtaken my body, she wasn't allowing me to sleep much and she had an undaunting eye for perfection. How many more times can I straighten pillows and pack up Barbie crap? I traded meal preparation for laundry and cleaning. Our dinners went like this: pizza, mac n cheese, take out, mac n cheese, take out, take out leftovers, Taco Temple, pizza, cereal (things were going downhill fast), sushi.
Single parenting can be really great the first day or two, when you can focus on your children and nothing else. The novelty of "date night" with your kids can be really great if the agenda is set. We headed into SLO for a kids' p.j. party and concert by local singer/musician, Ginger Hendrix. I knew little of her music and by the end, found myself the proud owner of one of her awesome CDs. Here's her link: http://www.bustrtpumpkinhead.blogspot.com
The theme song from her CD, which my girls and I sang the rest of our week, went something like, "just give me Macaroni n Cheese, that creamy cheesey treat"....ironic that we ate this delightful and easy meal at least once a day while daddy was gone. When followed by strawberry icecream, I'm sure we had all areas of the food pyramid covered.
Back to my point, seven days into this and I was plum pooped. A few quotes from the entire 11 day single stint included..."Where is the other leather shoe?"..."Just don't break your necks while base jumping off that bookshelf"..."Mommy's sick girls, can you keep the noise down and get me some gatorade?"..."Ana, I love all those marker tattooes you drew on your body, go make some more!"...."Where did you find this chewed up box of D-Con???"(that was the day I hauled the vaccum cleaner out to the back lawn to suck up all the poison pellets our dog had spilled, but thankfully not ingested)..."Showers and shaved legs are overrated"(pretty sure I shared this with Shelby's kinder teacher....I claim delirium on that one).
And now for the topic of dating. Not someone else, but my own husband. Three days before his scheduled return, I found myself primping and plotting the homecoming. I drafted a grocery list a whole week ahead in preparation for his return, special foods he liked, extra beer, plenty of his fav fruits and cheeses, this list did not include mac n cheese. I broke out the weedwhacker for my furry stumps...one must go at this task in phases when one has not ventured into the back country for over a whole week. I was bleaching my teeth, making a hair appointment, and painting my toenails. I found a bottle of self tanner in the far reaches of my bathroom. I even had my outfit picked out days in advance.
It occurred to me that these were all the very foreign rituals of dating. Planning out the events, the outfit, the food, shaving and plucking and primping. I hadn't done this much self prepping since college.
Thank god he's back, and I'm no longer divulging in the intracacies of single parenting. The dating world can keep their primping, I haven't time for it with all this chaos in my house.
Final quote, "Ana, that hot pink nail polish goes so well on the white carpet in my closet...."