For 6 days last week I was a single parent.
My wife had to go away for work leaving the girls and I in what would be a mayhem-filled week of lunacy…or…
This was to be a test, and one that I was eager to take. You see, in the past, I’ve been alone with the girls for 2 days. My wife has been alone with them for 4. The test was not only for me but for all of us. The girls haven’t been in any situation where they haven’t seen one of their parents for this long and their parents haven’t been in any situation where they haven’t seen their daughters for this long.
A little background: For the first-timers who haven’t read my posts, I have 2 daughters, 1 3-year-old and 1 2-year-old. They are almost 13 months apart and they are both awesome, and nuts. My wife and I are both very involved and as a result, have a pretty smooth operation going on over here. Strong teamwork.
How the hell do I cook fettuccine alfredo?
Oh, a french braid? No problem. Problem.
Matching clothes? Green shirt and blue pants right?
Birds and the bees? That time of the month? Menopause?
These are all the things that I was thinking I might have to deal with during what I was calling “Its Just 6 Days” tour.
What if I didn’t get them to school on time? What if I didn’t pick them up on time? We usually each take 1 kid for bedtime. That wasn’t going to be possible for the “Its Just 6 Days” tour.
In case you didn’t know, I’m a mildly obsessive compulsive, anal retentive, software engineer. I love my routines. Kids in general seem to love routine and mine are no exception. I’m getting agita just thinking about it again.
Wait, it already happened…
All the while, leading up to the “Its Just 6 Days” tour, I’m playing it cool. We’ll be fine I told my wife. “What are you going to do with them on the weekend Matt?”…um…
She was to be gone from Tuesday before they woke up until Sunday after they went to bed. To be fair, its not like I was alone with them for 24 hours a day. 3 of those days they were in school. 1 of those days they were with our nanny (who is fantastic). To be fair, I was alone with them for dinners, breakfasts, and everything in between. To be fair, I did have a pre-arranged night out with some former co-worker nerds and had a babysitter.
So about that weekend, whatever right…I’ll figure it out. My confidence is building as I type this.
Wait, it already happened…
So about that weekend, a trip to the Children’s Museum. Check. To be fair, I made my cousins come and meet us. To be fair, I did make sandwiches to bring in case the girls got hungry. Sunday morning? That’s right, I took them to a park/playground. Myself. After I got them dressed, remembered to put on their sunscreen, made them breakfast, peed in my pants in anticipation of losing track of them at said park, and put requisite hair in ponytails.
I don’t remember a whole lot of the details from each of the events in the “Its Just 6 Days” tour because I think I might have blacked out for much of it.
All in all, it was a very successful “Its Just 6 Days” tour. I got some great bonding time with the girls and even learned how to cook fettuccine alfredo (to be fair, it was frozen). I suspect the girls were sympathetic to my challenge and worked with me, most of the time, to help us all get through it.
I am very lucky for lots of reasons. Among other things, I have 2 awesome daughters and a wonderful wife to raise them with. I’ve always had a ton of respect for real single parents and now, even more.
In this blog’s very first post, I ended the post by claiming:
I am daddy. Hear me roar.
At that time, I was all talk.
That was then…
You’ll excuse me while I go throw up.
This is now.