I am a solo parent. For the next three months, I am the R.P. for these three small people, plus three dogs and our house full of junk. It’s only two days in – Hubs left on Monday – and I’m already losing it.
S noticed that I was a little… frazzled, let’s say… in the parking lot at Wallyworld today. There are so many things to do, and today I pushed myself too hard. I didn’t allow sufficient downtime, so after a morning roving through the mall with baby D (yes, the sketchy dirt mall, but I did find him a cute Halloween costume and some shoes for A) and a headache-inducing romp through the aforementioned discount superstore with baby D and S, I was on the verge of tears as I hefted a 40 lb bag of dog food into the back of my van.
Have I mentioned before how I don’t like to do certain tasks and chores, how I always imposed on my dear husband in the past to do these things? And now, since he’s 1000 miles away, I have to do these dreaded tasks myself? Buying giant bags of dog food for the furry bottomless pits is one of those things. I don’t like toting big bags of dog food, and yet I insist that we buy said product in huge bags because it’s more cost effective and means fewer trips to the store. Another dreaded task? Rolling the trash can to the street. Which I must remember to do this evening, too.
So, I was hefting this big bag of dog food into my van, tears welling up in my eyes (not because I threw out my back, which could have happened – just because I was so tired and kind of hungry and really stressed and kind of fed up with the constant chatter from S), when a Very Nice Woman walked by. She offered to take my cart to the corral. I managed to say, “Yes, thanks!” but what I really wanted to say was “OMG you’re an adult and you’re being nice to me and I was about to cry because I’m so tired and kind of hungry and I’ve been cranky since this morning because the power went out while I was getting ready and made things so annoying and difficult and don’t think I’m crazy but I could just hug you for doing something nice to me even though you don’t know me and you just saved me from yelling BE QUIET to my motormouth son and looking like THAT PARENT in the parking lot at Wallyworld and oh thank you so much you’re amazingly kind and wonderful and have impeccable timing!”
So my sanity was saved, for now. I still had oodles of errands to run today, such that I’m only sitting now, after 7 pm, for the first time since early this morning. I’ve attempted to explain comets, telescopes, Pluto’s uncertain status as a planet, assorted physics concepts, the psychological motivations of mean girls, the benefits of attending school rather than playing farm all day, the flexibility boys enjoy but girls lack in non-traditional urination locations, the funny feeling in your stomach when the van goes over a little rise in the road, a few etiquette issues, the importance of listening to your mother (doubt they listened to that one well), the rationale for excluding some personal items from sharing with your friends, methods of germ transmission, the concept of shyness and the difficulty some face in overcoming it, our family’s rationale for not allowing toy guns, the ways in which one person’s hobbies and interests may differ from another person’s hobbies and interests and how one must accept such differences and not force one’s interests on others who do not share them, the importance of allowing sleeping babies to sleep uninterrupted (even if they are really cute and you just want to play with them or say hi or show them the picture you colored).
I also faced some of the first questions and anxieties about moving, nervousness about liking Texas, finding friends, liking a new teacher and school, missing friends/family/activities/everything they know and love about this town. I know there will be more. I didn’t know what to say to A’s tears, but fortunately the “I don’t want to leave here! I don’t want to go to Texas!” storm was brief. I need to get on the stick and figure out some better strategies for that issue.
Oh, and my landlord’s wife called to see if she could bring a realtor by the house in the morning. Yeah. This place is a wreck and I lack the energy and will to do much about it. She said they would just check out the outside, so I’m going to trust and pray that they will stay outside, because I don’t want anyone to see the inside just now. Still in much of its post-Hubs-departure chaos: the stacks of laundry in the den are clean, but the piles of boxes and bins are rather haphazard throughout.
Deep breath. Time to read the bedtime story. Time to put myself to bed as soon as I get the minions tucked in. I don’t even want to think about tomorrow just yet.