If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: BLESS THE SINGLE PARENTS.
Seth returned home late last night after a 5-day/4-night guys trip and let me tell ya, there is nothing that makes me question my parenting abilities or tests my patience quite like being the sole care provider for my kids for days at a time – and I even cheated and went to my parents’ for the weekend!
I don’t know how single parents, but specifically single parents of multiple little children, do it. Well, I mean, I know how they do it – you just…do, right? But I don’t know how they do it and still manage to stabally function in the real world without falling asleep at the wheel or crying at their desks or missing 40% of everything that’s happening in the present because their mind is scattered into 250 other places.
I just don’t know how they do it.
I mean, let me give you a run down of just what happened in the hour leading up to bedtime and the hour after bedtime last night.
- After absentmindedly bargaining with my kids when we got back in town and home from the grocery store that we could take a walk after dinner if they came inside the house, I was forced to go on an evening walk 15 minutes before bedtime because my kids forget NOTHING. This wouldn’t be that big of a deal if I hadn’t gotten chiggers all over my feet on said walk – but I did.
- Bedtime was a nightmare because in the latest developments of the tremendous twos, they’ve actually become terrible (go figure). Abbott will not listen – in fact, a stranger would probably confuse him for being deaf if they saw me trying to communicate with him because he’s THAT good at ignoring me – which I’m sure you can imagine is the MOST fun skill for him to practice at bedtime. I’m still trying to figure out how to discipline Abbott at bedtime without also ruining Matty’s bedtime routine (aka storytime) so I ended up straining to read Matty a book quietly in the dark on his bed while Abbott threw things at us and jumped on his bed like a nutjob.
- Shortly after I left the room, Matty yelled that he needed a Band-aid for his foot where my mom had removed a splinter the night before. here was absolutely no need for a Band-aid but I gave him one anyway and Abbott, too, because – well – you know how that goes.
- About 30 minutes later, I heard loud sounds coming from their room. When I went to check on them, Matty was wiggling in his bed moaning loudly and whining about his butt (because of course he was). He told me I didn’t wipe his butt well enough and I honestly couldn’t even remember the last time he had pooped. We went to the bathroom so I could check out the situation and Matty ended up trying to go to the bathroom while I jumped in the shower.Before I knew it, Bot was also in the bathroom and the boys were standing outside the shower door talking. Suddenly, as I went to rinse the conditioner out of my hair, there was a gaggle of screaming and their feet pounded on the floor as they jumped around.I jumped out of the shower, soaking wet to find them both pointing at the floor, tears in their eyes and terror on their face. Turns out, Bot had spotted a spider the size of a dust particle slowly crawling on the floor. So, naked as a bird and wet as a whale, I squashed the spider, picked Abbott up and took the boys back to bed.
- Fifteen minutes later, Matty started yelling about his butt again so I went back to check on him, taking my phone along in case I needed to use it because – you know – fucking pinworm. After I got done checking his rear for worms, he asked if he could see the pictures and I was so confused.
“Mom, can I see the pictures?”
“The pictures. On your phone.”
“Of what? What pictures?”
“That you took! Of my butt!”
Apparently, since I was using my flashlight to see, he thought I was taking pictures of his freaking butthole. How mortifying?! I mean, he’s just a child so he doesn’t realize how traumatizing the moment was for me but, on the bright side, it was a good teaching moment that I otherwise might have never thought about. “No one should take pictures of your butthole. Ever. Ever, ever.”
I spent the next hour lying on the couch with my chigger-ridden feet elevated in the air, spraying them periodically with hydrocortisone spray counting down the minutes until my husband walked in the door thinking about those who don’t have someone there to give them a break when they need it. Bless all the single parents out there providing the best for their kids day in and day out, without a break and without fail – you are the real MVPs.