I can't really report on my few weeks without John as being "a single mom". I don't think 4 weeks can compare in any way to what a single mom deals with every day for 18+ years. All I can say is, I'm not going to recommend it to anybody, and that I miss John a lot. The kids have been mostly good and I did have my parents here for a week to help out. I also have a great babysitter/mother's helper that has been giving me a hand.
Our few bad evenings have been undone by something simple. Tonight, I made a fatal error.
The hardest part of the evening is getting dinner ready. Everyone wants attention, they want to eat (even if they aren't really hungry) and they want to eat NOW! If anyone is going to hurt themselves, require help in the bathroom, try something dangerous - they pick 5:45 to do it. So tonight I decided to pick up take out after getting the kids. Gwen chose McDonalds. They were in the backseat, focused on Dora and Boots robbing a bank on TV. I got the food. I checked the bags to make sure we got everything. I... took... out a single fry... and ate it. Did you catch it? My big mistake? I ate a fry. Madeline of course saw me and demanded one. Jack did not see me, but if Maddy was yelling about something he might as well pile on. I quickly handed them each a fry and started driving. I made eye contact with Gwen in the rear view mirror. Mistake two. She asked for a fry, but luckily was pacified by my promise to give her $100 when we got home but this started a trend of her feeling slighted for the rest of the evening.
Well, you can't eat just one fry, right? Even an 18 month old knows that. Maddy and Jack both started yelling for more fries after about 15 seconds. Rather than try to drive and pass around fries, I just turned up the volume and begged them to calm down. Cause that always works with toddlers, begging. If there is anything that puts me on edge, it's crying in the car. So that set the tone for the rest of the evening. Maddy was mad at me for about 10 minutes after getting home and ended up in time out. Once she realized I was trying to server her dinner she did calm down and enjoyed her apples and nuggets.
The rest of the night was peppered with a few meltdowns per kid as they assulted, robbed and annoyed each other. Pretty typical "rough" night for the Mills.
Ahhh... so now I sit with a glass of wine to relax and bitch about my evening. ~Sigh~. Here's to a better tomorrow - with more patience, kindness, gratitude and fortitude. Cheers!
Good night! (or Good afternoon to John!)