diary of a single parent: day one

Greg was away all last week on a business trip, and I blogged at the end of each day. I didn’t post any of the entries because of my paranoia about broadcasting the fact that he was away. He’s home now, so I’m going to post them each day this week, one week later. Here’s the first one, from last Sunday…

The day started early with a 3:15 am alarm. Greg had to leave the house at 3:45 to catch his flight. I normally can get back to sleep no problem, but my throat was hurting (I have a cold), I had a coughing fit and then the cat puked. Those of you who own cats know how loud a puking cat is. It sounds like they are coughing up a lung. I made a mental note to avoid stepping in it in the morning and managed to get back to sleep at about 4:30.

Both kids were up at about 7 am, which isn’t too bad. Elliot changed out of his pull-up on his own and came into my room to lie down with me for a bit. I don’t know how he missed stepping in the six-inch long pile of cat puke, but he did. Four times, in fact, as he came in and out twice. We had a short but nice cuddle. Then we heard Amy and he got up to go see her.

After a bit of playtime we made pancakes and Amy devoured five of them. That might explain why she didn’t each much for the rest of the day. She usually eats two. Elliot chose our morning activity, which was a trip to Undersea Gardens. Probably one of the lamest tourist attractions in Victoria but he really likes it. We took our time getting ready and got there around 10:30. We looked at the fish for a bit, but most of the time was spent in the gift shop, with Elliot being very agreeable and checking everything out without once asking for anything, and with me trying vainly to prevent Amy from picking up every single item in the shop. I am pretty sure when Elliot was two he wasn’t nearly as “into” stuff as she is. I eventually put the kabosh on the gift shop and we went back down to see the scuba diver feed the fish. Parts of this were pretty cool — we saw an octopus and a very large wolf eel. About two minutes into the show Amy got scared (loud music and loud presenter) and she spent the whole time on my lap, facing me, with her arms around my neck. It was actually a nice cuddle and I don’t think I scarred her permanently by not leaving.

The whole visit went really well, but as we were leaving Elliot tripped on the stairs (after going up and down them with no incidents twice previously) and gave himself a carpet burn on his chin. He cried for a long time, so I think it really hurt. He also complained every time he ate for the rest of the day, so I’m wondering if he bit his cheek or something.

We got home and played in the dirt in the front yard for a while, and ate our lunch outside. I realized that Amy is definitely not ready to be out of her booster seat/high chair yet. She did NOT sit still. She’d take a bite, leave the little picnic table we were eating at, and then run back a few seconds later for another bite. I tried making her sit but it wasn’t working and I didn’t follow through.

We came inside for Amy’s nap, and she had a nice long one while Elliot watched Cars and I napped and read a magazine. Amy insisted on getting back into her PJ’s for her nap, and Elliot did the same while he was watching TV.

Tia K and Lizzy came over for a visit in the afternoon, and we went over to the middle school to play in the playground. Lizzy showed us all her stuff (monkey bars, pole climbing, etc.), Elliot filled his dump truck with wood chips and Amy mostly sat and played with her boots, socks and feet. K and I were able to get a pretty good visit in, considering there were three kids in the mix.

Back home Elliot and Amy played in the back yard while I reheated dinner from last night. I’ve done a menu plan for this week and the meals are all really easy (and largely unhealthy). But the last thing I want to do is make a complicated dinner and do the resulting dishes when I’m the only parent in the house. Amy was really clingy and we had a bit of an issue with me sitting down to eat. I basically had to put her down and let her cry while I ate my soup. She eventually realized I wasn’t going to let her on my lap and decided to climb into her chair. But she didn’t eat much.

We had another issue after dinner when Elliot asked for dessert and I told him he could pick between a piece of chocolate or a cookie, and he insisted on both. It escalated enough that he didn’t get anything and won’t get anything tomorrow night either. Lots of tears, but nothing was thrown, no one was hit, and no screaming. Could have been a whole lot worse. And I got a lot of dishes done as he sat and cried. But a good reason to go back to not having dessert in this house. We rarely do (well, the kids rarely do), but with all the family visiting for Easter, we were having it more often.

Bedtime was easy peasy, but I was pretty beat. I made the kids’ lunches, worked for an hour and then wrote this. Now I’m off to bed. All in all, it was a very successful day. But this house is awfully quiet after the kids go to bed, with no dog and no husband.

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