Thoughts on *Girls' Night Out*

This past week was a challenging one at Chateau SITFOB!  J was in Asia for the week, and I was solo with the four kids; usually I sign off after dinner, opting to clean the kitchen while he herds kittens to get the younger kids ready for bed.  This week I was on-duty 24/7, and I once again hold my hat high in amazement at the feats that single parents accomplish!

We started the week with great intentions – I did make a meal plan and grocery shop for the week, watched proudly as LW7 displayed her ‘breathing models’ at the school science fair, spent time doing yard work (which led to the rash decision to fire the lawn service and “do it myself!”, a story for another day), took the kids to the movies, and made pancakes and bacon for dinner. 

By Monday morning I was done.  We had been 48 hours with happy-go-lucky Mom, the one who said “sure, why not?!” and for whom the glass was always half full.  She had been replaced by a woman who barked “hurry or you’ll miss the bus!”, refused to cut the crusts off her preschooler’s sandwich, and insisted that her teen NOT text under the dinner table.  What an unreasonable witch, right!?

I had hit a wall, and I knew what would cure it – Girls’ Night Out!  Back in the late 80s, GNO meant big hair, scoop-me dresses, and staying out until the clubs closed.  Twenty years later, I’d be happy with a ponytail, sweats, and someone else tucking the kids in.  I called a girlfriend to see if she wanted to meet for a glass of wine, or a cup of coffee at the big box bookstore. 

She said SURE, and I set out to find a sitter for the evening.  This turned out to be like Arthur’s quest; actually, I was identifying more with the Monty Python version at this point.  We know only a handful of local babysitters, and they were all busy with college work, or away on break (darn that higher eduction!).

It was time for Plan B – stay home with a book and a cup of decaf tea.  Put on a smile, take deep breaths, and tweet as needed for support.  Oh, if you don’t use Twitter but are visiting to read these musings of a manic Mommy, be assured that ‘tweet’ doesn’t mean I was chirping like a bird; I was sending instant messages to my imaginary friends.  Yes, that’s much better …

Wednesday evening I was able to put “parenting in 140 characters” into practice:

I think 7 yr old needs stitches. On the way to the ER. Serenity now!

Instantly I got support from the twitterverse, a dozen messages with iterations of “what happened?”, “hope everything is OK”, and “Good luck!”.  A few hours later I updated:

thx for all the good wishes! Home now, no stitches (punc wound in scalp clottd durng 2 hr wait). 3 cheers 2 DD & DS at home w/5 yr old perp!

Yes, during the witching hour of the getting-ready-for-bed routine, LM5 threw a toy rocket at his sister’s head!  An accident, I’m sure, but, never-the-less, an accident which drew A LOT of blood that wasn’t clotting despite applied pressure, ice, etc.  I was sure she needed sutures, and was pleased when the ER staff simply cleaned the wound and applied an antibacterial ointment.

Pleased?  You may be wondering why I wasn’t frustrated at spending two hours in the ER with not one little stitch to show for it.  Well, I finally got my Girls’ Night Out!  I had some quality time with LW7 (I tucked her library book in my bag and read it to her, a  cute middle grade book, Nikki & Deja, by Karen English), the older kids held down the fort at home by cleaning the kitchen and putting LM5 to bed.  Hospital co-pay = $100, GNO with my 7-year-old daughter = priceless.

Things were looking up, we were well past the midway point of J’s trip, with just a few mishaps to report.  And report we did.  J finally installed Skype and bought a MicroFoSt webcam in the electronics district of Tokyo.  We set the laptop on a lazy Susan at his end of the table and enjoyed dinner together Thursday night.

So, we survived the week with only minor injuries, and I got an unexpected Girls’ Night Out.  Now that J is home from Asia, I’m looking forward to a Date Night … first I have to find a sitter …

21 comments to Thoughts on *Girls’ Night Out*

  • Congrats on surviving the week with only slight brushes with disaster! Glad everything turned out for the best with that trip to hospital – proof, if I ever saw it, that sometimes the “good times” are happening when we least expect them. =)

  • I am chuckling and nodding my head! What a week! And funny how this stuff rarely happens when daddy is home, right? You deserve a grande margharita!!!!

  • Why does it seem like stuff like that always happens when the hubby is out of town? I’m like you – I have great admiration for single parents – not only do they hold down the fort, but they hold down a full time job as well. Glad you survived the week with (most of) your sanity intact.

  • I can totally relate. I only wish skype was around when my kiddos were at home and hubby travelled. Love that he was in his regular spot (well, except for the lazy susan, lol) at the table. Great post. I hope everyone is healing nicely – you’ve had an interesting few weeks in the mommy trenches :)

  • Oh lord, when you tweeted the stitches incident I just couldn’t believe it. Yay for Skype and a bigger yay for J being home. It’s never a dull moment, eh?

    GNO did pay off in the end…

    On to date night.

  • Motherhood is the hardest job but combining it with something else you love (in your case, books & blogging) makes it the ultimate job for any woman.

  • Megan – it was definitely a reminder to keep looking thru those rose-colored glasses!

    Sandy – I’ve wondered if I would have ended up at the ER if J was home, or if we would have given it more time.

    Kathy – my sister was single with two preschoolers for several years; I don’t know how she did it!

    Mary – it took a nudge from his company for him to install Skype for conference calls. I wonder if I’ll ever get him on Twitter :)

    Beth F – I’m telling you, the instant boost from the Twitterverse was so reassuring …

    Robin – that’s a great way to look at it. My 5-year-old keeps asking how I get paid for my job. I tell him I’m paid with smiles, hugs, etc. He’s not yet convinced, but he will tell you that the most important thing I do for a job is “to keep the kids safe”. I guess he understands …

  • Glad you survived the week, Dawn. Sounds pretty harried. Can’t wait to hear the yard story. Hire them or someone back. That has been the best stress relief I ever did . . . Just thinking about having to mow and trim makes my heart rate go up.

  • WOW — what a week, but I admire your positive spirit! Hope the weekend is a bit more relaxing…

  • Whew. What a week! I think I need a nap to recover from all of your busy-ness. :-D

  • Jeez. Next time, just take her out for tea or something!!! : )
    Glad you survived the week.

  • Cute story! Glad to hear that the ending was a good one too!

  • Glad you survived! I once got a UTI while the hubs was out of town and had to call on the neighbors to take in kids so I could get myself to the e.r. The older they get, the easier it is to have the hubby gone but I sure got a deep respect for single parents when my kids were younger!

  • So glad you survived the week and got a GNO in the end! My J used to travel every other week, so I totally understand how crazy things get!

  • It sounds like you had a rough go of it this week! I am glad that everything turned out ok and that your hubby will be back very soon. I can’t imagine doing it all by myself for even a couple of days, so my hat is off to you! I hope this week is a more placid one for you!

  • Wow, what a week. Sounds like you survived but I’m sure at times you weren’t sure you would! My son is almost 16 and it is so much easier now than when he was young!

  • Denise – I already ordered the lawnmower, it’ll be ready for pick up on Wednesday (‘to be continued’ no doubt!)

    Molly – I don’t know about having a positive spirit (but thanks!) … we survived

    softdrink – me, too!

    Jenners – aw, wouldn’t that be the easy way out?!

    Stephanie – thank goodness for happy endings.

    Lisa – yay for neighbors! I was able to leave the youngest with my older two; he was asleep when we got home from the ER.

    Jenn – my J used to travel a lot more … I’m not sure if the kids are getting more complicated as they get older, or if I simply can’t handle as much as I used to …

    zibilee – so far, so good!

    Kathleen – I’m so glad to know it should get easier as they get older.

  • Boy, can I relate! It’s very tough when my husband travels and I’m on my own…and it’s a joke with us that all ER visit (and vomiting episodes) happen when one of us is out of town! My husband says he’s gotten used to getting calls on his cell phone when he gets off the plane: “Honey, don’t panic, but please meet us at the children’s hospital.” And my son has also had head injuries that clotted before we were seen hours later (though he still got staples). This son has had staples, stitches, and surgical glue – all for head wounds.

    Glad you were able to make the best of it and enjoy some time with your daughter!


  • Nicole

    a little excitement while J is away. I like the idea of putting the laptop on the lazy Susan and talking to him when you sat down for dinner. Ahhh, technology!

  • What a week! I’d need a week away from it all to recover. LOL

  • Sue – your son sounds like our youngest; his head and face are a roadmap of interesting scars :(

    Nicole – you know how “active” it can be around here! Skype really helped on this trip.

    Anna – Oh, I’d take a day away!!

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