Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gearing Up For the Solo Parenting Weekend

As I write this, Late Blooming Dad is winging his way to Cape Cod for a reunion with some college buddies and their families.

It was too costly and too much of a production to head east for a three-day weekend with all four of us, so I'm here holding down the fort as Chief Parent, and hoping the Gods of Parental Patience are with me.

I don't know that the kids are asleep yet; but after reading many, many books aloud to them, some in the dark via flashlight, and listening to an entire CD with them, I needed to exit their room and do some household chores. I'm blogging in the hope -- very possibly vain hope -- that when I return to check on them, they'll actually be down for the count.

Then it's time for me to get some seriously deep sleep, because without it, nerves will fray this weekend.

I am looking forward to some sweet moments that I know will happen somehow or other, and hoping the kids will be extra tender toward me because they know I'm flying solo with them. Unless, of course, they take wicked, mischievous advantage of this. My suspicion is, I'll experience the tenderness AND the mischief, though in what measure, I can't say. It may depend on how much -- or how little -- sleep they get, for well-slept children are manageable children, and tired children are the Von Crankensteins.

Every so often I see friends' status updates on Facebook in which they chart their solo parenting courses while their spouse is away. They always survive, and sometimes thrive ... but also seem very, very relieved when it's all over. One friend who has three kids, two of them twins, seems to be a champ at handling these solo flights, so I take heart that she can do it and vow to follow her confident, competent example. I do this knowing she used to take a couple dozen spoiled west side of L.A. high schoolers on wilderness experiences, so she has nerves of steel and the patience of a saint. So it may not be so easy for me to emulate her.

Others to whom I've alerted my plight are sending advice (every meal doesn't have to be perfect; oh, and what you say is the law, there is no appealing to another authority -- 'cause he's outta town!) or messages offering help -- even single friends are coming out of the woodwork to do so.

You wouldn't think the prospect of getting through three days by yourself with a couple of four-year-olds should seem so daunting as to elicit these kind of responses ... or so much trepidation on my part. After all, plenty of moms have more kids than I, or more difficult kids, and they get through it without making a fuss.

Maybe I'm just a whiner, part of the Greatest Complaining Generation. But I put it down to this: I spend much of my time exhausted. I work fulltime, I'm over forty, and I begin and end my days trying to feed, clothe, wash and groom two highly energetic and rarely cooperative little beings who have an entirely different agenda than mine. I think I'm entitled to a little apprehension.

What's that I hear? Nothing! Quiet! Could it be they're finally out?

The weekend is well begun ... and it's still only Thursday night.


Gregory K. said...

Just remember - when there are tears, three agendas, and no more desserts: this too shall pass!

Eventually :-)

You'll do fine. They'll do fine. And all will be very, very glad when Dad returns. At least if my own experiences are any guide....

Anonymous said...

More late blooming moms of twins.
Check out June 12, 2009 post at

Jenine said...

"nerves of steel and the patience of a saint" flattering, but SO not true!