One hour and 17 minutes.
That is how long I have been sitting in my children's room, waiting for them to fall the f*ck to sleep. Specifically the small one.
It is Saturday night, and it's almost 8.30pm. By now I've basically read the whole of the internet and I have 11% battery left on my phone. How the hell people parented before smartphones I just don't understand. I bet it was shit.
I've misjudged it twice so far; got up and, as stealthily as I could, tiptoed out of the room only to be followed minutes later by a small, screaming, angry human. You'd think he'd get the drill by now, but NO. Leave too soon, before he's properly, fast asleep and my god you incur his wrath. I'm here for the long haul.
Last night I gave up altogether, brought him back downstairs with me and let him eat my crap and hastily cooked dinner of pasta and no vegetables.
|9.15pm. Should be in bed. Is not.|
This is usually a two-person job, but Daddy is away this weekend, and since Friday morning I have been alone with the kids. Obviously I'm very used to looking after them on my own, even doing bedtime; but for some reasons it's so much harder at the weekend.
Weekends are when I breathe a sigh of relief.
At 5pm(ish) each Friday, I hand over the reins and a weight lifts (or, alternatively, mentally berate Daddy with each second past 5pm that he is not home).
Weekends are sacred. OK I've never actually managed a lie in, but I do get to go back to bed for an hour or two and even if I'm not actually asleep I can pretend I am and the kids aren't my problem. Bliss.
We can do those things that really take two parents to do; have lunch out, for fun. Go shopping. Things that experience has taught me not to brave on my own with both children.
During the week, I like to get out and about; to the farm, the zoo, a play group, the park, soft play, the garden centre, even a trip up to London. During the week, when the world belongs to the under fives, I can rock parenting. But at the weekend, places become busy and filled with big kids, there's nowhere to park and everything is a monumental effort, and when it rains, like it has done this weekend, I really need my teammate - my comrade - my back up.
Friday was a bust.
Around lunchtime today, the small one woke from his nap and I realised I need to go out and buy petrol, food, nappies, wine and birthday presents (not necessarily in that order). Around the same time, my sister popped in on her way home from work. More fool her. I decided to take the opportunity and drop the kids at my sister's and go off to do a shop.
Shopping alone was like a holiday. I read packets. I dithered and I took time to make choices. I didn't forget to buy anything. It was wonderful.
However, my happiness was short lived when I arrived home and the kids were both asleep in the car at 5.25. Bugger. I had to wake them up and feed them, bathe them and wrangle them bedwards.
I'm now almost certain he's asleep, so downstairs I must go. It's 8.36pm. Practically bed time for me, and I have to tidy up the wreckage of the front room and eat something. And drink wine. And so, I bid you adieu.
*After this, I thought I'd read the invites, and maybe do a little bit of Google Maps-ing in preparation. They're next week. That actually makes three third birthdays in one weekend. That'll teach Daddy to go away.
I am well aware that there are so many amazing parents out there who do this parenting alone shit all day, every day. Single parents who don't get to hand over the reins and don't get a break. You are all heroes.