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 She had been replaced by a woman who barked “hurry or you’ll miss the bus!”, refused to cut the crusts off her preschooler’s sandwich, and insisted that her teen NOT text under the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 …