Oh oh oh! AND THEN!
Jason left for a short business trip yesterday, right after I got back from my suuuuuper-relaxing dental appointment and a milk/eggs/cereal run, because I know how to Treat Mah Self.
And I do mean short. As in, he's already on his way home now. Less than 30 hours of solo parenting. Way less once you factor in 1) sleep and 2) the fact that I mostly hid from my children all afternoon yesterday. I put Ike down for a nap, deposited every blinky-gaming-type phone/tablet/screen we own on the coffee table for the older two, then barricaded myself in my office and tried to get work done. Nobody was to bother me unless they were bleeding. Profusely. Y'all know where the band-aids are, work it out.
(AWKWARD RECIPE SEGUE LIKE A BOSS)
Even dinner was leftovers, for God's sake — I made some rice and nuked up bowls of our Surprising Recipe Home Run Success of the Month, aka a curried lentil and swiss chard stew with chickpeas, aka one of those ideas you get that flies in the face of all good sense and logic and totally works out anyway.
My kids — a couple of whom have been known to reject grilled cheese for being "too cheesy" and who don't understand why I have to ruin perfectly good plain spaghetti with unnecessary toppings like "sauce" or "anything at all" — absolutely loved this stew and ate multiple bowls of it. (Though I do recommend serving it over some kind of rice/grain since it's like a very thick curry.)
GET IN MY FACE HOLE, DELICIOUS PILE OF THINGS
(Shout out to Ezra for the cherry tomatoes in the Fancy Bowl. He also spooned yogurt for the stew into a different Fancy Bowl, and yes, he insisted on wearing his full chef regalia for both of those important tasks, including potholder mittens.)
After dinner, we watched a movie, thanks to a poorly thought out potty-training agreement-slash-bribery-system that I am now regretting, and then everybody went off to bed and I was free to revel in having full control over the TV and indulge in whatever weird tearjerker indie movie I wanted.
(SHORT TERM 12, YOU GUYS. HOLY CATS IT IS SO GOOD.)
I know it's probably pretty pathetic to feel...I don't know...proud? Accomplished? When all you've really done is provide somewhat adequate care for your own children, but there it is. In the land of lowered expectations, last night was a slam dunk of damn fine mothering.
And then there was this morning. It was. Um.
I could bore you with all the tiny details of everything I had to get done and by what time, where everybody needed to be and what they needed to bring/take/pack (plus I had an early doctor's appointment that negated the "just drive everybody to school in your pajamas, who cares" option), but let's just say there was a point where I was literally begging a hysterically crying toddler to "help me out here, okay. Just get a grip and help me." That worked about as well as you'd expect.
(Why was he crying hysterically, you ask? Oh, you know, all the usual reasons.)
(I am starting to suspect that Ike is simply Not A Morning Person.)
That sadly wasn't even the low point of the morning — that was probably when Ezra started making lunch requests and I mildly flipped out at him because I'd packed the bulk of their lunches the night before and was now too stressed and high strung to deal with a kid who wanted a banana in his lunch when I'd already packed raspberries. OMG LOOK AT THE CLOCK, LIKE WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO, I CANNOT PROCESS WHAT YOU ARE ASKING, STOP MAKING THESE IMPOSSIBLE LOGISTICAL REQUESTS AT 7:15 IN THE MORNING.
(Eventually my problem-solving skills returned to me. I gave Ezra the raspberries for breakfast and put a banana in his lunchbox. I'm thinking maybe the grumpy-asshole-in-the-morning-thing might come from my side of the genetic pond.)
In summary, single parents of the world, I raise a glass box of wine to you.