I consider myself to be pretty capable when it comes to caring for Caroline alone, so I try not to write posts like this, but tonight it really can’t be helped. Buckle up, buttercups. This evening was rough.
Caroline has been sick and so I was up with her for most of last night. I went home after school today and laid down to take a nap, because she was supposed to be with Tyler tonight. The second I fell asleep, the phone rang. It was Tyler, saying that he was bringing her here instead because she wasn’t feeling well and wanted to go home. I stumbled out of bed and answered the door. He handed her to me, accused me of loving the fact that she only wants to be with me, and stormed off. Caroline and I looked at each other for a minute and then I shook the sleep out of my eyes and told her we were going to the store to get medicine.
I dragged the poor sick kid out in the rain to pick up a filter for her humidifier and medicine and chicken soup. Got her home and set up with the soup. She wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t drink, wouldn’t do anything but scream and beg to be held. I picked her up and carried her around, still screaming, while trying to run a bath for her and dose her with medicine and set up the humidifier and wade through the piles of laundry and toys that were covering my floors. This went on for about a half hour and by the end of it, I was near tears as well, and my arms were really tired from carrying her, and she was still howling. And I don’t do well at all, running on no sleep.
I got mad. At Tyler. Which is totally stupid. But I was just mad that he thought I wanted to do all this alone, that I was happy about it all. I’m not. I want them to have a relationship and I don’t want all of this responsibility to fall on my shoulders, every single time. I set the screaming Caroline down on the couch, gritted my teeth, squeezed my eyes shut, pressed my hands over my ears, took a deep breath, and counted to ten. (Moms. Single or otherwise. You’ve been right there with me. Don’t deny it!) Then I got a grip and got to business.
I put Dora the Explorer on my laptop for Caroline to watch and stuck a binky in her mouth. (Judge me for the binky and die, betches.) I really try to avoid putting TV on to keep her busy, but this was an emergency for real, and anyway I suppose Dora is somewhat educational, even if she is super annoying and always wearing that little belly shirt, I mean what is up with that? There are kids watching, girlfriend, you think you could tone it down a little? I mean we get it, you’re cute and all, we get it, but it’s kind of inappropriate, no? Anyway did I mention I haven’t slept, and where was I?
Oh right. So I put Dora on and whipped into supersinglemommy mode. Cleaned the place up at lightning speed, set up the humidifier in her room and closed the door, ran a steam bath, set up everything to put her to bed, and measured out her meds. Grabbed Caroline off the couch, turned off that annoying chick Dora, bathed her (uh, Caroline, not Dora), dosed her with meds, brushed her teeth, read her a book, rocked her, and laid her down in her crib. Oh, and collapsed myself onto the couch.
Now she’s coughing up a storm in her bed but at least she’s asleep and not crying, so the rest of my evening includes plans for a hot shower, a glass of wine, some mindless TV, and early to bed because I’m pretty sure I’ll be up all night again.
I mean. Whatever. I can do the single mom thing. I’ve been doing it a long time now, starting from way back during my marriage. But when the plans change and you throw a very sick and very loudly screaming inconsolable toddler in there, things fall apart for me a little bit. It’s okay though. I got this. We moms are tough. Right?