An exhausting weekend of single-parenting

It’s been HOW long since I’ve posted?! Whoops. My bad.

Honestly, I think that last MRI with Peanut was a bit of an eye-opener for me. This blog has always been about one thing for me. Healing. It’s been about reaching out for support, for a shoulder to cry on, for a venting post, for an ear when I want to celebrate and everything in between.

Peanut’s MRI in April wasn’t her first, but it was a major scare for me. I didn’t know what was wrong with her and it could have been fatal. After I got the amazing news that she was just chubby (I know, who’d have thought being overweight would be something to celebrate?!) I realized that I had been spending WAY too much time on the computer. I had effectively become addicted to blogging and facebooking. My kids and husband, in the meantime, would spend the evenings without me for an hour or two every night. I’d be posting blogs, pictures, videos and comments galore while they played and laughed without me.

I realized all of this after Peanut’s MRI. She could have been very sick, and I was venting on my blog instead of spending more time with her and her siblings. Shame, Mommy. Shame.

So, that said, shall I update you on my going ons since my last post?

*******

I started working out. No, for real this time. I finally gave in and started something that I’ve been dreading and avoiding like the plague.

P90X.

It sucks. It sucks so bad. I hate it. It’s awful.

But I love it. My butt hasn’t looked this good since before Buddy! I also feel much more energetic since I’ve been eating healthier as well. It’s amazing how much happier and optimistic you feel when you’re in shape!

*******

We had a family vacation!!! I went to Colorado for a week with the entire family. I am actually in the process of writing a blog post right now about it. Be prepared.

*******

This brings me to this weekend. The main reason I wanted to post a blog… Husband is currently out having a great time with his friends. He is camping and golfing and going on a brewery tour and playing baseball and cards and cribbage and drinking and so on…

He and his friends get together every year and go camping somewhere around Wisconsin. They’ve been friends since they were kids. Unfortunately, like most friendships, time and distance has made their friendship a little harder to maintain. Hence the camping trip. It’s a guy’s weekend to catch up and do guy things.

I think this is GREAT. I love that husband can get away with his buddies and leave his stress and worries behind, if only for a weekend. I have always been fine with him going. In fact I almost always push him out the door. I know we both need our time away from the kids and each other. It’s not that we don’t love one another, it’s that we need to recharge now and again. I get it. I’m fine with it. I’m happy for him.

Until this year, at least. This year I’m singing a different tune.

I hate him. I hate him and his stupid friends. I hate them with a passion.

Why?

Because they took the van. MY van.

I hate the van. I hate all vans. But it’s my only mode of transportation. It’s my only ticket out of this house. It’s my only chance at a taste of freedom so I can go shopping, go to the beach, go visit a friend. anything!

But no. I’m stuck here. I have no vehicle and no way to see anyone or do anything. Normally I don’t mind staying at home, but that’s because I know I have a vehicle if I wanted to go somewhere. Knowing that I can’t go somewhere even if I wanted to makes me feel like the walls are suddenly closing in on me and I’m desperate to leave.

Oh, and did I mention WHY they took the van? So they could golf. One round. One day.

SERIOUSLY?!

Husband had brought this up to me months ago. I hated the idea from the get-go. But eventually, after giving him a verbal beating, I gave him the green light. I knew he and his friends had been wanting to go do this for years now and I knew our van was the only way they could fit everything.

Still, I wasn’t pleased.

So this weekend came and I watched in dismay as husband removed the car seats and loaded the van with lots of fun-looking things. Camping gear, golfing gear, alcohol and snacks galore. All things which I would have LOVED to indulge in. But no. Instead I would be single parenting three kids ages two and under for the weekend.

I DON’T KNOW HOW SINGLE PARENTS DO IT.

OH MY GOD.

I repeat.

OH. MY. GOD.

I now worship the ground they walk on. No longer will I judge them for running errands in their pajamas. No longer will I judge them for giving their kids ice cream for breakfast. No longer will I judge them for leaving their houses trashed.

No longer. They’re superhuman. I swear. The same goes to military Moms and Dads while their spouse is overseas. The fact that they’re not only simply surviving, but also staying sane, amazes me.

Superhuman.

I’ll admit I do most of the parenting in the house, but when Husband gets home, he usually makes dinner and takes care of the dog. He is there to help keep the kids in line when I’m getting exhausted. He is there to help me get the kids ready for and into bed.

It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m beyond tired and exasperated. It’s like the kids knew Husband would be gone this weekend and saved up all of their insane antics for JUST this weekend.

Friday morning:

I woke up to find that Buddy had woken up already and was in his sister’s room with a loaf of bread. Or… what was left of a loaf of bread. It was mostly smooshed and strewn around the bedroom. Each kid was happily chattering and munching on a slice of bread.

There were also diapers. Diapers everywhere. I don’t know who did it (whoever did it is lucky I don’t know…). There were tens of diapers strewn around the floor among the bread slices. But that wasn’t all. Oh, no. The box of wipes was opened and ripped apart as well.

When Buddy saw me freeze in the doorway of the bedroom with a look of pure fury on my face he dove behind the recliner and refused to come out. (I have a feeling he’s the culprit… at least the bread culprit.)

That was when I noticed the butt paste. In Bear’s hair. It was smashed and smeared into her hair until her entire head was totally white.

Oh. My. God.

They have never done this before. (With exception of the syrup incident.)

Seriously?! Husband hadn’t even technically left yet and I was already dealing with crap like this?!

I took my time cleaning up the diapers, wipes and bread and gave Bear a quick bath to clean her hair. Thankfully it came out with a little bit of soap and water. Her hair was still nasty and greasy looking, but at least it wasn’t white. I was satisfied. I got the kids up and dressed and sort-of fed them breakfast.

In a moment of genius, I decided to give them toast. *HA! Take that!*

Late morning came and I had gotten the kids together quick for one last trip out of the house before the weekend came. We ran to the local second-hand store and I went to look for a few things for Husband for Father’s day. I had this great idea for a gift but it required some extra work on my part. I was planning on working on it this weekend.

I found three picture frames and wandered for a bit to see if I could find anything else exciting. We were there about half an hour when I came across the jewelry rack. I started looking through it for fun when the girls started SCREAMING.

They were struggling against the straps of their stroller trying to get at the jewelry. They eyes were gleaming with excitement and their mouths were opened in a giant O-shape as one squeal after another erupted from their tiny little mouths.

I cringed, embarrassed of their outburst (if you hate listening to one baby screaming in a store, imagine two at once. It’s pretty awesome.). I grabbed the stroller and started to walk away from the jewelry.

BAD. IDEA.

The girls were pissed. They wanted the jewelry and their [insert meanest swear word you can think of here] Mother was taking them away from it empty-handed.

They SCREAMED. They THRASHED. They WAILED. They SCREECHED. They HOWLED.

Buddy and I looked at each other, terrified.

I ran to the counter to pay for the picture frames and get out of there as fast as I could. The stroller was shaking dangerously as the girls thrashed in their stroller in fury.

They have NEVER done this before.

Everyone looked down and away, embarrassed for me. I was that Mom to them. The one that everyone immediately assumes is a terrible, negligent parent when they see kids misbehaving this badly. I wanted to beg with the fellow customers to understand that the girls have never ever done this before. But I doubted that anyone would have heard me over their screaming anyway.

The middle-aged woman at the register smiled encouragingly at me. I apologized profusely as I ripped out my money to pay. She laughed and said she didn’t mind crying babies. The only thing that bothered her was ear-piercing screams.

Cue ear-piercing screams.

I swear they can understand more than they let on.

After I finished paying, now completely mortified, I ran out the door with Buddy and the girls in tow. After I got home, I saw that husband had just gotten home from his half-day of work and was finishing packing for his weekend of fun and relaxation.

Yeah, he wasn’t even technically gone yet…

He had gotten me some McDonalds on his way home as a treat before he left. Even though I had been eating healthier up until this point along with the exercising, I took one look at the greasy fries and burger and dove in. It was delicious. It was absolutely delicious.

Now moderately appeased, I realized that husband was going to eat nothing but camping food this weekend and felt bad. He’s kind of a picky eater and prefers healthy stuff. So I started throwing some things together and made him a banana-nut milkshake with as many natural ingredients as I could get my hands on.

I took a sip and I was in heaven. It was amazing. I poured husband a glass and he gratefully took it and loved it. But then the kids saw it and of course demanded some. So… by the time I poured everyone a glass, there was none left.

I never got any.

Like a lost and forlorn little puppy I sat and watched everyone chug down my masterpiece and rave about how yummy it was. Husband ran out the door soon after that and I stood in the front window looking even more forlorn as I watched MY van disappear.

This was the beginning of my temporary single-parenthood and I was already feeling the exhaustion and frustration.

Most of the rest of the day went the same. The kids fought, cried and made a huge mess. The dog broke something outside. The internet stopped working for a few hours. The list goes on.

After finally getting them all down for a nap at the same time I collapsed on the couch. I watched maybe ten minutes of TV and got bored immediately. I wanted to get out of the house. I wanted to go camping. I wanted to have fun, too!

With another stroke of genius I realized that we still had our tent here. I raced into the basement and pulled it out. I rearranged the living room and got to work setting up the tent. Once the tent was up, I ran around the house collecting pillows, blankets and anything squishy I could find. I set up the inside and ran and got a bunch of toys and books and threw them in there as well.

By the time I was done, I was excited! I plopped down inside of the tent and soon-to-be cave/castle/airplane or whatever the kids wanted it to be and smiled to myself. I was going to make this a fun weekend if it killed me.

Eventually Buddy woke up from his nap and came downstairs. His eyes went WIDE as he took in the newly transformed living room and immediately dove in. Satisfied with his excitement, I went into the kitchen to make myself a quick lunch before the girls woke up. I didn’t see much of Buddy in the kitchen after that. He was busy running around every other room in the house.

Eventually the girls woke up and screamed for me from their respective beds. I went to their room to get them out to join their brother. When I got in there though, I found yet another disaster.

Diapers, wipes and now butt paste smeared into the carpet… and Bear’s hair. Again.

I cursed the heavens as I once again picked up the diapers and wipes, folding them neatly and stacking them nicely back into the drawer they’re stored in. I got Peanut out to join a very happy Buddy in the tent and I took Bear to get her second bath of the day. Once the bath was done Bear joined her siblings while I changed out of my now sopping wet clothes.

Apparently Bear wasn’t so excited about two baths in one day. She thrashed with all of her might while I tried to wash the paste out of her hair.

Finally, I figured I should get dinner ready. I took out all of the leftovers and put them in new dishes and pretended I was making a new big thing. You see, the kids are incredibly picky when it comes to leftovers. They hate eating anything from a Tupperware container. I still make them eat it, but they scream and cry through the whole ordeal and leave everyone crabby and drained.

I did NOT want to deal with that. So… I tricked them.

Unfortunately the tent was too much of a hit, though, because when I told them it was time to eat, they all refused to leave the tent. When I picked up Bear (usually the most… erm… “enthusiastic” about eating) she freaked out. FREAKED OUT. She thrashed so hard in my hands that I dropped her.

Yes. I finally did it. I dropped one of my children. It was only a foot from the ground, thank God! But it was one of those falls where she landed right on her face and the rest of her body bent over her head.

Oh. My. God.

I felt awful.

Until I went to snuggle her and apologize and she BIT me!

She’s never done that before.

Dinner went terribly. They totally still knew the food was leftovers despite my fancy new dishes. So now I had three kids throwing their “nasty” leftovers on the floor and twice the amount of dishes to clean.

Joy.

This was about the time that I gave all of those “perfect” moms out there the middle finger and popped open a bottle of beer. I left the kids strapped to their chairs as they mangled what food they had before them and I retreated to the front porch and drank my beer.

At least I made it until dinner before I needed it…

Once done, I came back in to find all three of the kids magically eating their food. Or what was still left on their plates and not strewn across the kitchen floor, anyway. No screaming. No thrashing. Just silently munching away.  I froze. I was scared to move. I was scared that if I moved, they would realize I was there and go back to being possessed by the little demons that have wreaked havoc on my day thus far.

I went to the front door and let the dog in to do his deed. He is my favorite floor cleaner in the entire world. He does better than any appliance I have purchased to date. And he’s much MUCH better to snuggle with than a swiffer wet mop.

Nothing much more exciting happened for the remainder of the night. Well, unless you count me lying awake, terrified and jumping at every little noise.

You see, after I had put the kids down to bed I saw a new post on facebook from my Aunt. She had posted a picture of two kids from the 50’s sitting on the lap of a creepy looking Easter Bunny. It made me chuckle… until it reminded me of a certain fictional character that TERRIFIES me. Frank the bunny from Donnie Darko.

Oh. My. God.

I don’t know what it is exactly about this bunny but he freaks me out more than Chucky or even the clown from IT. Both of them are fictional characters that I, for some unknown reason, was allowed to watch as a child. I was scarred from life after that. I can’t stand creepy dolls. Clowns I can handle. Except that one from the movie. And I’m terrified to approach any gutter wells. I refuse. I will never EVER approach a gutter well. *shudders*

But yeah, Frank the bunny from Donnie Darko creeps me out much worse. I had finally forgotten about that stupid bunny, and then my Aunt had unknowingly posted this picture that reminded me about him, on the weekend that I would be sleeping alone. Of course. (P.S. I’m not mad at you auntie! It was just terrible timing! And the events that follow are absolutely 100% my own fault.)

So, I found a picture of the bunny to share with her for laughs… but then started looking at more and more. Which led to me looking at other creepy-as-all-get-out websites. Eventually I ended up on one of those “scariest places on earth” sites. It had everything. Including videos. Lots and lots of videos. Mostly of abandoned insane asylums with paranormal activity.

I watched them all.

Needless to say I freaked myself out to the point that I had to leave the hall light on. Just in case.

The next day I woke up refreshed and rejuvenated after a good night’s sleep.

NOT.

I trudged grumpily into the girl’s room. Buddy was up before me again. The diapers, wipes and bread were strewn about the room again. The butt paste was smeared in Bear’s hair. AGAIN.

*bang head on wall*

Seriously… I mean… *sigh* I just give up.

I left it in her hair and put her straight in her high chair for breakfast. I just didn’t want to deal with another fight. I went back in the bedroom and gathered the wipes and diapers and threw them back in the drawer. I didn’t fold or stack them neatly. They’re stuffed in there in little balls. The wipes are jammed back into the container. I have to open it completely to get one out every time now.

I just don’t care.

I made instant oatmeal for breakfast for the first time ever and prayed that they would just eat it without a fuss. I’ve never given them oatmeal before, so this was a HUGE request on my part. Please God. Please just give me this one thing. Please.

He gave it to me. The kids silently inhaled the food. There wasn’t a single drop of food on the floor.

They have never done this before.

After breakfast I finally attacked Bear’s bath. The third one in two days. The third one as a result of butt paste in her hair. I mean… really, Bear. *siiiigh*

After the bath I was thoroughly and completely fed up with being stuck in the house. I had seen a ridiculous number of trucks pulling boats and jet-skis driving past our house, most likely headed to Lake Michigan. It had been a gloriously beautiful day, albeit rather humid. I really REALLY wanted to go to the beach.

But, of course, I had no vehicle. Our kiddie pool just wasn’t the same.

I. Wanted. The beach.

Once I put the girls down for their first nap of the day I decided enough was enough. I was going to figure out a way to get all three car seats to fit in the back of our car. It took over 30 minutes and I nearly lost a finger among all the straps, clips and corners, and I had to throw my body weight into closing the doors, but I did it.

I had a vehicle. We were going to the beach.

I threw myself into packing. I gathered towels, water bottles, beach toys, sandals, hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, swimsuits, swimming diapers, dry clothes and snacks. I put the double stroller in the trunk of the car and stuffed the beach belongings around it. I changed into my swimsuit  and lathered myself in sunscreen. Once the kids were up I changed them, fed them lunch, dressed them in their suits, threw on their hats and sunglasses and sandals and stuffed them into the backseat of the car.

We were doing this. I wasn’t taking no for an answer.

I hopped in the front and rolled down the windows and grinned like a fool as the summertime tunes cranked out of the radio. I was so excited!

About five minutes later I arrived at the state park on lake Michigan that had the beach I wanted to go to. I began turning into the drive when all of my happy thoughts came to a screeching halt.

*NOOOOOO!!!!*

My eyes were glued to the bottom left corner of the windshield. The sticker-less bottom left corner of the windshield.

&*%%^#%^&*%&^%&*%%^$%^&^$#%@$@$%##%^&*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

**for those of you not in WI or who aren’t familiar with a state park system, you need to pay for an annual sticker/pass to get into these parks**

Oh. My. God.

OH. MY. GOD.

The [insert curse here] park sticker was on the [insert curse word here] [and here] […and here…] van!!!!! [curse curse curse curse curse!]

To say I was furious would be like saying Hitler was kind of a bad guy. I was BE-YOND furious. Way beyond.

After my last couple of days. After all of the prepping I did. After rearranging the car seats so I could actually get out of the house. After I got the kids and myself all dressed and ready.

I couldn’t go to the beach.

[curse curse curse curse CURSE!!!!!]

I threw the car around, seeing red, and the phone was in my ear before I knew I dialed the number. The phone, much to husband’s luck, went to voice mail. I left a very angry message, yelling about nothing and everything. Poor husband… I mean, I know I technically let him take the van. But still. Come ON. I just couldn’t win.

After a few minutes of fury, I remembered a little beach that I could go to a few miles away. All was not lost.

By the time I arrived at that beach I was much happier. Not only did I still get the chance to go to the beach, but I had heard two of my current favorite songs on the way. Husband had called me back on the way and level-headedly reminded me that I could have just gotten a day pass. Derrrrrr. I blame the insanity surrounding me the last couple of days.

After we hung up I pulled all of the beach stuff and the double stroller out of the trunk and loaded the kids in. They strained to see the “big water” as Buddy called it.

**for those of you who haven’t seen one of the great lakes, they look like the ocean. There are big waves and water for as far as you can see. The beaches are big, the sand is white and the boats on the horizon are typically yachts and the like. They’re huge. It’s pretty amazing to have something like this only a couple of miles from home**

Amazingly, we were the only ones on this little beach. I always forget how pretty it is there! I found a nice spot near the water and got to work immediately unpacking the beach things. I got the kids out and we were all lathered with sunscreen for a second time (just in case) and relaxing on the beach.

The girls were sitting just within reach of the waves and giggled and gasped as the waves crashed into their legs and wrapped around their little bellies before withdrawing back down the beach. Then they would squeal all over again when they saw another wave approaching and throw their arms wildly in anticipation.

Buddy was busy de-sanding the beach as he took one shovel-full after another and threw it into the “big water”. Once he tired of that labor he began collecting shells and bringing them to me, wide-eyed with wonder. He loved all of the different colors and shapes. Especially the white shells. Then he bravely waded into the water, yelling out in delight as each wave broke around him, nearly knocking him over.

Eventually we were joined on our private little beach by a man with a jet-ski. He walked the trailer down into the water and began fiddling with the motor. I watched the kids with amusement as they all sat in that head-tipped-back-and-jaw-hanging-open position with awe. Eventually the man waded out into the water with it and hopped on and stood up. Buddy nearly tipped over with excitement as he literally screamed and danced on the spot when the guy took off in it. He kept looking back at me like, “Holy sh*t Mom!!! Are you seeing this?!?!”

For another fifteen minutes we all sat and watched as the man spun, dipped and jumped through the waves. At one point Buddy looked back at me and pointed out to the jet-ski, announcing, “Mine!” Yeah… I want one too, Buddy.

Eventually we all ended up laying out on the towels, relaxing and enjoying the sound of the waves crashing into the beach, the seagulls calling out, the leaves in the trees blowing in the wind, the jet-skis chasing one another and the giant boats occasionally honking at one another far on the horizon.

It was so incredibly peaceful.

The time came when we were all just too worn out to continue on. I packed up and changed the kids into dry clothes. I dragged the stroller back through the dry sand, and loaded the kids back up. I got the stroller and belongings stuffed back in the trunk, then finally collapsed into the driver’s seat. I took a deep breath of the beautiful, beach air and smiled. I had done it. I got out of the house.

What an exhausting weekend. And I still have to get through half of Sunday. I’m not sure what Sunday will bring (besides Bear probably getting butt paste in her hair), but I know what husband can expect when he gets home. A deliriously happy wife to see him, a giant load of laundry to do and a tent to take down in the living room. 🙂

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “An exhausting weekend of single-parenting

  1. How DO single parents do it?!? Holy crap, I was laughing so hard at this… it’s all so familiar (except my child EATS the butt paste, instead of smearing it in her hair…). Isn’t it funny that every time you have one of those “beer for lunch” moments, things calm down, on their own, like right away? It’s a constant roller coaster of being pushed to the point of insanity and then total blissful perfection. I totally agree about not having transportation. When the kids and I have no way to get out of the house I get SO frustrated, but in reality, we probably wouldn’t be going anywhere anyway. But the ability to do so makes ALL the difference!!

    • Hahahahaha! EATS it?! Oh dear… And yes, the beer for lunch thing. It’s like they know that finally crossed that line and right things before they’re REALLY in trouble. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one dealing with these ridiculous situations!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s