As my man has left me for the day to go gallivanting around the fine metropolis that is Tulsa, commandeering my computer while he is away, I am left to fend for myself leaving you a photo-less play-by-play of the day (save the two images snapped on my phone and sent to Facebook - as I've found e-mailing to be the most inefficient means to sharing those pictures - well, unless four days is considered efficient) - but, just now, I'm posting and then, tomorrow, you'll get a re-cap via photograph. Isn't that exciting for you? Living my ordinary day twice in a row?
So, here it is . . . My Day as a Single Mom
8:30am: I wake up to Emmett crying. Not through the monitor, because I had kind of turned that down about a half hour ago. I wait for him to stop - sometimes Micaiah isn't so nice when they're playing alone in their room and she causes him to fuss before he quickly gets over it. He is not quickly getting over it this time. So, I enter the room to find Emmett distressed because he "Bump"ed - meaning he fell - off of his sister's dresser - the same one he gets a spanking for playing on every day. I explain, this is why we don't get on the dresser. To his way-too-tired-because-he-woke-up-too-early-before-climbing-on-the-dresser toddler mind, this teachable moment was entirely lost. Then I put a Toy Story VHS into the mini-TV/VCR in the corner of their room, the one that has only been used in this house about twice, tell them to sit in Micaiah's bed and leave to go back to sleep. Yes, I did. Only I had been out of my room for long enough that Joey noticed (seriously, he can sleep for a couple hours when I'm next to him, but always seems to wake up within minutes of my leaving - he always just knows), so that he was no longer happy. And after making him happy, I was no longer tired.
9:00am: I shower.
9:20am: Before rescuing the children from their Disney baby-sitter, I head to place my mug (I've mentioned it follows me everywhere) and cell phone in the living room - a daily ritual. It is there I discover the two baskets of laundry which have been migrating around the house, unfolded, all week have been folded by my man before he left the house at an hour earlier than that at which he typically leaves for work. (This is where I deviate from a single mom who, sadly, does not have a laundry fairy loitering about.) I love that man.
9:40am: We're eating breakfast to the tune of Toy Story, which is now playing in the living room because I just can't make them walk away from Buzz. I then decide we will venture out for errands. With all three kids. By myself. Only, I plan to cheat - there's no way I'm actually getting all of them out of the car. We're doing quick, in-and-out stops wherein I never let the car out of my sight. I'm plugging in a DVD, keeping the key in the ignition and the remote lock in my pocket. Yes, I am.
10:30am: We're finally out the door and I'm praying that youngest just keeps on sleeping and doesn't realize he didn't get to eat before we left. And if he does, I'll just explain to him it's his fault. He's the one who chose to not wake up when I tried to fill his belly. He'll understand, I'm sure.
10:40am: Seriously? I'm parked in the bank drive-thru and my car won't start? Who would I even call? My husband is in Tulsa. My sister-in-law is in Kansas City. I have three kids in my car. And I'm in the bank drive-thru. What the heck? Fortunately it took me only a full panickie minute of turning the key back and forth and realizing it won't even leave the ignition, to discover I'd failed to put the car in park before turning off the ignition (something I always do at the bank, after reading an article in Reader's Digest about conserving gas - I don't know if it works, I just do it - because Reader's Digest said so).
11:30am: We made it. The kids were totally tuned out to "The Emperor's New Groove" the entire time - except for Joey, who did succeed in sleeping for the duration of the hour-long trip. Faux-outing with the kids = success!
11:45am: So glad we didn't stay home if this epic melt-down from the aforementioned too-tired Emmett is really what I would have faced at home. Grateful for the hour of zoning out in the car instead of screaming about every minute incident at home. Yes, I am.
12:45pm: After feeding Littlest, the rest of us have lunch and Emmett is finally not screaming again. But that could have something to do with The Care Bears. At the end of this movie, when we're all encouraged to declare our caring to save the innocent camper, I tell Micaiah, "I care. Do you care?" To which she matter-of-factly responds, "No." Alright then.
1:55pm: They're all napping! Okay, they're all laying down. Okay, one is laying down, the other two are in their room. Does that count?
2:15pm: Emmett is out like a light and because I need him to get his full amount of rest if I'm to survive the evening, I send Micaiah to my bed where there are no distractions (ie, toys) and, if she still chooses to not slumber she will at least not wake her brothers.
4:30pm: Emmett is still out - the legs dangling out of his bed while his upper half sprawls across the width of the mattress definitely indicate that. Checking on Micaiah, however, one wonders if she's really been trying to get Daddy's Nintendo DS to work for all of the past two hours, or if she's recently awoken and just now begun to entertain herself. I'm choosing to believe the latter.
5:10pm: I love watching Micaiah play by herself. She really is awfully sweet as she pretends her purple-plastic-beaded necklace is a snake crawling over Mommy and Joey. Really wondering at which point I should wake my eldest son.
5:40pm: Oh, look on the monitor! Emmett is stirring! I wait to send in Micaiah, though, so he can get his bearings before being ambushed - no one is nice when they first wake up and, again, we don't want a cranky Emmett.
6:30pm: Well, dinner was a success with one of them at least. I totally pulled out the girlie food: Chilled Strawberry Soup and Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches (yes, they were a main dish, don't judge me - the magazine said it could even be served for breakfast - and I believe it, because the magazine said so). Not gonna lie, it's what was on the menu even before I knew Philip would be gone for the day, but he's not sad to be missing it. Micaiah wouldn't have been, either. Unfortunately, she's here and she just needs to deal with the fact that yes, it's soup and yes, it's cold. It's supposed to be that way, now eat it.
6:45pm: Getting the bath started because, even when he loves the food, it gets everywhere, especially if it involves soup and/or cream cheese (or both, in one meal). Strawberry Soup in the hair is not quite the fashion accessory we go for in this house. I'd hoped to avoid this process for the evening because Philip has been doing the baths for the elders lately and, well, I kind of like it that way.
7:15pm: Letting Emmett pick the next movie for the day because it's about time. He, apparently, is tired of Disney, too, as he opts for "Robots" and they both snuggle with their blankets on separate couches - and I figure we'll stay up a little late tonight because, well, we can.
7:45pm: Joey's getting a little tummytime on the floor, because he's totally tired of hanging out on his back. Or, at least I thought so. Did he just roll over? Had to have been a fluke. He's done that on the sofa a time or two, but I always attributed it to gravity taking over on the slanted cushion. Wait. Did he just roll over again? Seriously? I know my other kids were late bloomers, but I swear six weeks is too early for this.
7:50pm: Noticing how gorgeous Micaiah's post-bath curls are, I decide to document this for the future. She asks if she can make a silly face while I take her picture. Then she pulls out the "Hot Dog Face." I didn't even know she had such control over her tongue already.
8:15pm: I try to explain to Micaiah that if they're not even watching it, it doesn't really matter if I told them they'd go to bed when the movie was over. And, yet, the movie stays on - and they keep running around yelling to each other, "Tag, you're it!" I get concerned when Joey is pronounced "It" - will they really keep running until he can catch them in about a year?
8:45pm: They're in bed (the older ones, anyway - Tiny Man is still crying, we'll deal with that soon) - I survived!
9:00pm: Why are they still talking? Why are they always still talking? Wait, I know it's dark here in their roombut I'm pretty sure there is no little boy under that blanket. And he's not in her bed, like he normally is when there's trouble. "Emmett?" With a swoosh of the curtain, there he is, on the dresser. Again.
139. A man who takes care of the house when I don't.
140. Technology to entertain the kids on a morning of errands.
141. Adventurous spirits.
142. Emmett's words are getting clearer. Today I heard, "Tag, you're it" as well as "time-out."
143. After rinsing her hair, "Now I'm good as new!"
144. Commands that are sometimes ignored but sometimes followed.
Taking Time for Play: Home
Finally, a picture of those much talked-of clothes, scattered across the living room, but folded - that's the important part.