Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A day (or two) in the life of a single parent

On Monday I asked Jenny about visiting her, saying, "I need a vacation!"

Today I really, really do.

Monday evening Asher suddenly threw up before having a chance to leave his bed. Yes, he's 9 and I STILL had a clean-vomit-out-of-his-bed experience. And it was super nasty.

Tuesday morning he still didn't feel well. Kieran's babysitter had also emailed me to let me know that her little guy had thrown up the night before, but she didn't think he was contagious. I had two good excuses to stay home from work though, but really needed the hours. So I risked it with Kieran at the sitter and left Asher at home (using the home cam to keep my eye on him) and put in just a couple of hours at work. None of this was particularly difficult, just out of the routine.

The crazy started later.

Because I'd had to miss Brennan's first ever track meet last week, I'd committed to attend his next one, which was here in Corvallis. Unfortunately, I forgot that AGAIN the other 3 would have swimming lessons smack in the middle of the meet. It doesn't seem fair to have 3 kids miss their activity for the other 1's activity, right? So, both it was!

Asher hadn't seemed too sick during the day, so it was saying something when he said he didn't feel up to attending swimming lessons. I got Hollyn and Kieran dressed in their swimwear, then we dropped Asher off at Grandma's and headed over to Cheldelin. After finding parking about 8 miles away, we began the looooong trek in the pouring rain over to the fields. Did I emphasize the pouring rain? It was miserable. Hollyn and Kieran just can. not. walk at a decent speed. It's so frustrating, but especially when we're in a hurry. We were looking for Brennan to say hi and deliver him a snack, and our time was very limited. Luckily, we found him. Unluckily, he was on the opposite side of the fields, which were quite muddy, and again, the rain! Even more unluckily, Kieran decided to have asthma issues right when we'd learned Brennan was on the other side of the track. Besides the wheezing, his main symptom when this happens is a horrendous crying tantrum, demanding his inhaler, refusing to walk, and behaving like the entire world is ending. It was embarrassing, but with the nearest inhaler back at the car, it made more sense to finish our quest first. At least, it made more sense to me.

With MUCH effort, I got Kieran and Hollyn across the field, we said hi to Brennan, handed him the snack, and turned around and headed back to the car. Hollyn's shoe only got stuck in the deep mud once. :-) Kieran cried the entire way. It continued to pour. But we had no choice but to make our way back to the car.

Kieran got his inhaler, we did swimming lessons, and then headed BACK to the track meet. Thankfully, though we'd missed the long jump, we made it and found Brennan in time to watch him do his 100m race. Kieran DID fall in the mud though, caking his behind and front knees in thick brown goodness. All of our shoes were beyond hope by this point. Lol.

After Brennan's race even he wanted to head straight home. He had only his shorts and t-shirt on him, which were soaking wet and it was pretty cold. We picked up Asher from Grandmas on our way and got home with half an hour to spare before the next event for the evening.

I quickly made some dinner. As I went to place the food in the oven, I saw to my horror that the oven was sparking inside, in 2 different places! I turned the oven off, hoped that would be sufficient, and ran next door to report it to my manager and beg to use her oven for my prepared food. She wasn't home. Going back inside my house, I saw that my element was STILL sparking, and white hot, and was creeping down the line. At that point I pulled out the fire extinguisher. Here's a weird thing: I couldn't pull the pin on the extinguisher because it was zip-tied in place. I had to grab my scissors and cut it off first, so I could pull the pin and use the device. Doesn't that seem a little counter productive on an emergency tool?

Anyway, I did that (then had to run outside to breathe and spit out the nasty taste). Michelle let me use her oven to finish dinner. By then, it was time to head to the RS activity, which I really wanted to attend because I'm on the planning committee and annoyed by the poor attendance we've had over the last year. I REALLY don't want to be part of the problem.

Anyway, by the time I got home after 9pm I was exhausted. Good thing I still had a kitchen to clean up before maintenance came today. :-P

This morning I had an interesting day at work. There could potentially be some big changes there for me, depending on what I decide to do. So the day started off different. After that I had parent-teacher conferences at the elementary school. Kieran had been napping at Grandma's so I went back to pick him up when the conferences ended about 4:30. Mom was getting him up when I arrived and undressing him because he'd thrown up pretty good in her bed. He got a quick shower while the other 2 waited in the car. After not too long though, we headed home. Sadly, as I was turning onto our street, Kieran started throwing up again in his hands. You can imagine how swiftly I jumped out the car after parking. (Later when I was looking for my keys, I found them still in the ignition, hahaha).

So he got ANOTHER shower. I retrieved Brennan's birthday gift from the mailbox and hid it, then helped Kieran redress as Brennan arrived home from track practice. By this time, it was time to head out to Pack meeting. Brennan agreed to watch Kieran and I did carpool to the 6pm activities. I left early enough to get home for Brennan to be picked up for his 7pm Scouts, which was to be a farewell pizza party in his honor. Kieran threw up in the middle of the living room, and then like every 3 minutes because I gave him juice-then-water, which he couldn't keep down longer than that. Eventually I cut him off from all beverages, which made him quite unhappy because he claims he's hungry and thirsty, but dash-it-all, NOTHING will stay down!

I hoped to wrap Brennan's gifts earlier, but I guess I'm staying up late to do that.

The good news is, we have busy plans for tomorrow (probably will have to postpone indefinitely if Kieran's still sick), so I'd already arranged for work off tomorrow. Also good news, I got a new oven element today which could have been tricky to be without an oven over Easter weekend.

Now I just need to get through the next 4 days: more conferences, dr appointment, swimming lessons, ward social, camas commons party, egg hunts... I'm excited that some time between 8am and 5pm on Friday OR Saturday (because why limit the window?) the dryer vent cleaner is coming, so I'll hopefully get my dryer rehooked up and bathroom put back together before my inlaws come, haha. Then I'd better get my Easter and Ordination plans in order for Sunday. Maybe even die some eggs, oh sheesh.

Even without the twists and turns I knew this week would be crazy busy. It's hard not to be a little wistful about how much harder it is to do things when you're a single parent. And yes, I know I can drop out of the unnecessaries this week. I wish I didn't have to. It's the FUN stuff that has to be sacrificed, but it's the fun stuff that gives me the motivation to keep going, that makes me feel like I'm not a complete failure because my kids will still have a normal, happy childhood and not miss out on things as a result of the choices of their parent(s).

Anyway, that's my last 2 days. How were yours?

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