Single Parenting Kinda Blows
Today is the fourth day of "mommy and me" togetherness while P is in Vegas. I am gaining a whole new respect for single parents. Ever since A was born, the division of labor has remained much the same: I keep her alive from day to day and he . . . plays with her. Keeping her occupied, however, is no small feat and I don't want to downplay his contribution at all. I mean, there's something to be said for his ability to sit on his ass and make block towers with the kid while I do 14,000 loads of laundry and mop the floor - at the same time.
Last night I decided to take her to Red Robin for dinner. Tragically, the host sat a couple who appeared to be on a date right next to us. After spending 40 minutes sitting so close to my kid I predict that they either a) broke up in the parking lot or b) agreed to stay together but vowed never to reproduce. A was in rare form. She started out okay but it was all downhill from there (or maybe uphill is a better description?). She threw her crayons (how precious!) and spilled her milk. By the end she was yelling, "NO! DON'T WANT IT!" no matter what I said. On our way out the staff rewarded her hellatious behavior with a balloon, of course. "WANT A BLUE ONE!" Later I pulled the dinner receipt out of my wallet and realized that I took the wrong copy. My brain stopped working properly as of May 2005, that's all I can say. I used to be an organized person . . .
Back at home I gave her a Scooby Doo push-up ice cream pop (actually I think it's sherbet) which kept her occupied for all of 8 minutes and caused a mess of epic proportions. I then put her in the tub and began the countdown to bedtime. The problem was that time refused to get on with it already. I looked at the clock: 7:32, 7:32, 7:32, ah! 7:33!
Bathtime is extra fun these days because she has decided not to sit down in the tub - ever. She mills around in the water and yells things like "I WASH MY GYNA!" Somehow I got her hosed off and into her pajamas. Mercifully, 8 p.m. finally arrived and I all but skipped to the crib with my still-wet kid. For the next hour she instituted some sort of elaborate book swap where I was expected to come back every 3.8 seconds and give her a different book. "NO, NOT THAT ONE! THAT ONE!" "This one?" "No." "This one?" "No."
Today started off with a bang. There was a tantrum within the first 30 seconds. I'm still not sure what it was about. Then, because I am clinically insane, I decided to take her shopping to get some shoes for Fall. Oh yes, I did. The shoe store experience was so nightmarish that I think I've blocked most of it out. I remember one of those slidey things on her foot (twice). I remember saying things like "If you don't sit down right now you are getting time-out and I am not kidding." I left with a bag. I either got two pairs of toddler shoes or some men's slippers. It's hard to say.
Then, because I have a death wish, I decided to take her to the Gap outlet. Oh yes, I did. I had a coupon but it was only good if I spent a certain amount. So I hurried around throwing stuff over my arm (trying in vain to do the math because I was going to get my 20% off come hell or high water) and crabbing at my kid all the while. "See that lady over there? She wants you to sit down in your stroller. She is getting really mad. Look at her. She's furious."
At some point A says, "Where's Doggie?" Doggie is a stuffed toy she has had since birth. I knew it was a bad idea to bring him. "I don't know, where is he?" "I threw him on the floor." Sa-weet! I spent 10-15 minutes looking for doggie and finally saw him on the front counter. Some kind-hearted Gap shopper had turned him in. Crisis over. I stopped outside Lands End to look at a rack and A shouted, "Big trouble with the mama!" to some random lady who was passing by. (Apparently I had whispered "You are in big trouble" one too many times.)
Finally, I took my kid (and what was left of my soul) and headed to a food court for lunch. Oh yes, I did. It actually went slightly better than expected, with only a few random threats tossed out here and there.
Right now she is in her crib. I don't care if she sleeps or not - she gets to stay in that crib until my sanity is restored. By the end of the shopping excursion I was very close to "rocking and humming to myself" mode.
When her father returns from Vegas I will just have a few words for him as I hand her over: "Congratulations, Mr. M! It's a girl!"