As I wrote a year ago, I was once again a single mom for 5 lovely days while my husband went on a “dude trip” out to the Pacific Northeast. In the past, I might have put “lovely” in sarcastic quotations, but I can honestly say that this was a really enjoyable, albeit tiring week for me.
Last year, I wrote this. A tale of solo parenting a 4-year old and a 5-month old baby. The house was a mess, I was crabby, the dog didn’t even want to be around me and then I got a cold.
This year, I psyched myself up for it. I knew it was going to be challenging with a now- 5-year old and a 22-month old. But I was looking forward to a nice weekend, a day off work and then Grandma and Grandpa stepping in so I didn’t have to use up all of my PTO.
Day 1: Playground. The happiest place on Earth for my children. Because they don’t know about Disneyworld. Yet.
Riley offered to hold Charlotte for several trips down this ginormous slide and the proud smile on his face, and the glee-filled grin on hers mad me so happy that I instantly texted it to Daddy.
Sunday we spent the day at my parent’s house, which is almost an hour away out in the country. Gale-force winds and 40-degree temps kept us in the house the whole time. I was clearly off my game this day as I shockingly discovered that I only had one diaper in the diaper bag. Can you even call it a diaper bag if it holds no diapers?
I didn’t have time to ponder this because little miss pooped so incredibly much that I took a journey to the closest gas station, 10 minutes away, and spent $15 on a pack of diapers one size too big. This was horrifically traumatic for an extreme couponer like myself. Let’s not talk about it.
Monday was my day off work and Charlotte and I took Riley to school and then hit up the grocery story together. I honestly don’t think I’ve grocery shopped with just her since she was a tiny infant in the car seat carrier. At almost 2, she wasn’t exactly pleasant to shop with, especially because I refuse to be one of those parents who opens the food before they buy it to quiet down a loud baby. So I had a loud baby who was yelling “open open!” and thrusting a package of string cheese at me. No, it wasn’t 100% pleasant, but she happily soaked in the oohs and aahs of other weekday shoppers and finally got that cheese in the car.
I rented Frozen from Red Box because it was a rainy day and I believe we are the only household with young children in North America who has yet to see the movie. So we snuggled under the covers and watched:
And yes, it’s worth the hype. Super cute movie. We celebrated watching it by crowning our own Princess Charlotte.
The next few days were a blur of early morning showers before the kids woke up, greeting my parents who were staying with the kids all day while I worked and straightening up the house after the kids were finally tucked into bed. Yes, it was exhausting, but they missed their daddy so much that I tried to make this our own fun little staycation.
We went to story time at the library, which was the cutest thing ever. No pictures because I was too busy watching Charlotte try to keep up with the older kids and sing along with songs she’d never heard before. Too cute.
The entire week was freezing cold and rainy. I’m not kidding. We didn’t get a single day above 45 degrees or not raining. So we could not even go outside at all. We made rice krispie treats, we colored, we danced, we built forts. And on the last day of Daddy’s trip, we hit up an indoor playground for kids:
How did our forefathers entertain their children in crappy weather?
These are all dried beans. I found beans in her diaper that night. Gross.
I would like this giant Lite Brite in my house. K, thanks.
The week was not uneventful though. Thursday, I had to work from home with both kids. Not an easy feat. Pair that with the fact that I had a client call that was not scheduled during naptime, I knew this could be tricky. And it was.
Derek’s office is in the basement, so I decided to set up shop there and keep Charlotte in the room she’s normally in while Daddy works. I gated her in, gave her a snack and turned on Dora. Within 15 minutes, she had broken out and was in the office with me, babbling and talking, while I muted my phone and only briefly unmuted it to give one or two word answers.
The previous day I had started cleaning out our storage room (Super Mom!) so a lot of old toys were out in the basement that usually aren’t. Luckily, Charlotte began playing with the toys while I continued the call with my client. As I spoke on the call, I kept an eye on Charlotte and then to my horror, I saw a mouse casually traipse across the basement floor. Had I not been on the phone, I would have screamed and jumped onto the desk clutching my innocent child.
Since I was having a billable conference call, I had to remain calm. I sat still for a minute, all while talking status with the client. Without missing a beat (I think) I overturned a garbage can, dumping its contents onto the office floor and RAN after the mouse, with my iPhone pressed to my ear. I flipped the garbage can over the mouse and put a heavy box on it. The thing squealed to high heaven.
After the call, I called Derek who said to leave it since he’d be home later that night. The poor mouse died in there. I have no idea how it got in, but I don’t think there are any others. We’ve had a loaded trap set out for a week now and haven’t caught anythin.g
Finally, Derek was home. I missed him so much and the kids did too. But I would probably give myself a sold B+ this year as opposed to a C- from last year.