Sunday, August 17, 2008

Single Parenting, Round Two

Kyle went to a wedding over the weekend. He left just after 7am Friday morning (before anyone was awake) and returned home at noon on Sunday. All in all, we had a great weekend. Friday daytime was rough because I had one of the busiest WFH Fridays I've ever had - I was on conference calls all day, so Claire had to watch lots of cartoons. But I did get the kids out. I managed to drop off my car at Sam's Club for the installation of those new tires Friday morning (we walked home - no other way to get home, right?) and then we had a relatively boring day while I worked until 4pm. At 4pm, I shut down the laptop, got the kids in the stroller, and walked back to Sam's Club to get my car. [The bad news: the new tires didn't fix the strange vibration, so we're off to the Volvo dealership next.] After the Sam's Club trip (and they had formula again!), we went over to Babies R Us and picked up the new jogger stroller that the last two posts talked about. And then we headed over to MyGym, a little kids' gym/play place, which was having an Open House. When Claire was little she used to take a weekly class there, and we might do it with the twins some day, so I stopped by to say 'hi' to all our old teachers. And it was free entertainment. Claire jumped in the ball pit and on the trampoline, and the twins had a blast! I thought they'd be afraid, but they went wild in there - they crawled everywhere, wanted to get into everything, and they even thought the ball pit was interesting. We picked up a quick dinner and I had everyone to bed by 9pm - about half an hour later than I wanted, but not bad. Claire was asleep instantly.

I was awakened at 5am by a phone call on my mobile phone. Huh??! A frantic check (thinking something had happened to Kyle while out of town, or to another family member) made me realize that WORK was calling at 5am. They were having some kind of outage, and didn't have contact information for one of my customers, so they called me in the middle of the night. The voicemail asked me to join the conference bridge. Like an obedient idiot, I called in, and got sucked into a troubleshooting call until 6am. At 6am, I crawled back in bed, knowing my chances of getting more sleep were slim. Molly got squirmy, and I couldn't fall back asleep, and at 7am when she wanted her bottle, I realized I was going to have a long day ahead of me. The irony of all of this is that Molly had her BEST night of sleep YET and I didn't reap any benefits thanks to work calling me in the middle of the night. And with Kyle out of town, no one was around to offer me nap time during the day.

But I rallied - and the kids and I had a great Saturday together. We played some in the morning, then we had lunch at McDonald's, and while the babies napped Claire and I went swinging outside and she was later joined by the neighbor kids for some extra excitement. When the babies woke up, we did an early dinner at Pizza Shoppe (our usual weekend pizza place) at 5pm and then I took the kids shopping for a while afterwards. Things were going well until Lily had an unprovoked meltdown in Macy's (I honestly heard one guy say "just leave" because she was crying so loudly), so we promptly left and headed back home. The kids were all in bed by 8:30pm. Again, Claire was asleep instantly. On my end, I got the house ready for the next day (cleaned up, made a middle-of-night bottle for Molly, cleaned the formula container, etc.) and went to bed as quickly as I could. I felt like college finals time as exhausted as I was at that point. It wasn't kid exhaustion per se, but just the early awakening from work at 5am.

Sunday (today) we made it to McDonald's for breakfast (Claire's weekly treat from Kyle, which I indulged her in today), and then to HyVee for milk and spaghettios (the new stroller doesn't hold too many groceries unfortunately), and then back home for what I expected was round one of naps. Lily slept. Molly wouldn't. In fact, she didn't nap until 11:30. And she was up by 12:30. Kyle appeared stealthily, with no prior warning, right about noon while we were eating lunch at home. Then the chaos began. Claire wanted daddy's attention, Lily wanted daddy's attention, and then Molly woke up too early because of all the noise. It took me until today to realize that Claire is a master at playing Kyle and me off each other, and generally getting me very frustrated with that game of hers. With Kyle out of town and only me to deal with, the kid was a dream for two days - perfectly behaved. With Kyle around, she's a whole different kind of child. When the immediate chaos subsided, we considered a trip to the petting zoo or the arboretum but we aborted the planning and getting ready stuff after 20 minutes because the babies were seeming "off" and we thought they needed the next round of naps. In the end, Lily did take a second nap but Molly refused (teething??). So I took Molly and Claire to McDonald's (yes, McD's again) for an ice cream cone while Kyle put up laundry and Lily slept. Molly's mood stayed fantastic, so when Lily woke up I put everyone in the new stroller and we took a long walk around the neighborhood trying to find Claire a good climbing tree (see photo - we only found one). Molly got so exhausted on this long walk that she actually fell asleep in the stroller! Check out the photo of her sleeping. I was impressed because my twins don't sleep anywhere but their beds, so this was nice to see that on occasion at least Molly could be flexible.

We did take-out for dinner (I haven't been able to grocery shop with Kyle out of town) and Lily wasn't in the best mood at dinner. Both babies are asleep and Kyle is getting Claire to bed right now. At least tonight I get relieved of "house duties" and my only plan is to get to bed early again.

The big "Oooops" of the summer is that my new friend made me aware at noon today that the more expensive preschool starts tomorrow (I thought it was after Labor Day for some reason). We never gave them a cancellation, so I am concerned we're looking at a $350 charge because of this (in addition to the $150 we lost by saving the spot for the school year). I called the school in a panic and left a long message, admitting that I'm clearly scatterbrained and an idiot. So depending on what they say, we'll either cancel on them tomorrow or we'll send her for a month and then switch her to the other preschool. And the expense of all this is just a charge for our idiocy. I am such an organized, meticulous person - so when did I become the kind of parent who doesn't realize when school starts? Scary. Can I blame the twins?

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