Sunday, November 16, 2008

Single Parenting

How do you do it?

How do single parents do it?

My hat off to every single one of them who has managed to bring up a happy, well-adjusted child without (a) devolving into bankruptcy (b) becoming hopelessly addicted to something or (c) running stark naked through the streets. Actually, check that: my hats off to any single parent who managed to bring up a happy, well-adjusted child. Period full stop. Because DAYUM this shit is HARD, and I've only done it for two days!

Andrew let me know about six weeks ago he'd have to go to New York for a couple days for business. Mmmm, errr, fine, I mean, what am I going to say? no? Seriously. But then suddenly the couple of days was FOUR days and then it was FIVE days and those five days? were from Saturday crack-of-my-butt early to Wednesday-might-as-well-be-Thursday late.

And now here I am, two days in, and I'm beat. I'm sitting here with a great honking glass of Smoking Loon after listening to the monitor for Way Too Long (why don't babies just know they're tired and give it up already????) and there's still the garbage to take out and the dishes to... dish and can I tell you I'm terrified about tomorrow morning?

I've never done the morning routine. That's been Andrew's bailiwick since the little man started going. I nurse at 5, because I have to be at school by 7; Andrew needs to be at work some time. By nineish. Mostly. So he gets the morning after I nurse, I get the afternoon. And going by the little daily report cards we get, Andrew rolls in to daycare any time between 7 and 8:30. Which is great. That means they have the mornings together and if some of that is planning and packing, then that's what it is.

But now I have to do it. And I don't have much time to do it. So many mornings Howie and I both fall back asleep while nursing, with the soothing tones of Steve Innskeep in the background--there's been mornings when it's only been the Morning Marketplace (comes on at 5:50) or the voice of the new OPB dude Geoff something telling me that it's 6:19 that has me tossing a sleeping infant back in his crib so that I can rush into my room to put clothes on and go. When I invariably forget something critical like MY LUNCH or MY PUMP or MY SHOES or something. And for the next three days, I don't have that luxury. Of the sleeping. I suppose I can forget something for myself (insert common family joke about HOW FORGETFUL KARI IS AND HOW FUNNY THAT IS HA HA HA! here because it is always so funny) but I don't want to forget Howie's stuff. He didn't ask for this, you know?

But also, I want to prove--to myself, to Andrew, to my family--that I can do this. I may not like it, but I can do it. So far this weekend, while exhausting--so little downtime!--has been doable, if a little lonely. We only have a faintly crazy Costco bill to show for it, and we spent some good time with Bectastic.

It's the next three days that'll really decide it.

Wish us luck.

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