On the whole I feel very supported in my role as parent. The geekdaddy is a very “hands on” kind of a dad, and we are surrounded by family locally. We also have some great friends who also provide invaluable support. I wouldn’t want to say that I find parenting easy, especially when juggling a part-time job as well, but I generally feel like I’m keeping my head above water.
And then, every now and again, a day like last Saturday happens. I was solo parenting because the geekdaddy had to be out all day and wouldn’t be back until late. Things started out well, and I took the kids to my Mum’s house for lunch (she’d made my favourite as well :)). When we got home the geekson went down for his nap, I plonked the geekdaughter in front of the television and even managed to get some housework done.
It was only after I got the geekson up after his nap that it began to feel like all hell was breaking loose.
Somewhere along the line when I was out of the room, the geekdaughter fell asleep. Now, she’s given up her daytime nap, which means that if she does happen to fall asleep in the middle of the day she can be a bit disorientated when she first wakes up. And because she’s an emotional soul this generally involves a certain amount of crying. Usually a bit of a cuddle will sort her out. Not so today. She cried and cried and cried, and the crying gradually became more screaming than crying. I tried to calm her down, to see what was wrong, but couldn’t get anywhere with her. A couple of times she tried to tell me what was wrong, but I couldn’t make out what she was saying at all. And then, joy of joys, she was so busy screaming that she didn’t realise that she needed the toilet, and she managed to have an accident on the sofa.
So I moved her off the sofa, and started clearing up the mess. She continued screaming and crying, so at one point I went over to attempt to calm her down again, and that was when the geekson got hold of the roll of kitchen towel I was using to mop up with, and unravelled the whole thing whilst my back was turned, in the style of the Andrex puppy!
Somewhere in the middle of all this, the geekdaddy phones to check that I’m coping OK. I think the background noise makes him start to worry a bit… The geekdaughter is now at least able to tell me that she is crying because her tummy hurts, and whilst the geekdaddy offers to come home early to help out I point out there’s not much he could do unless we decided we needed to take the geekdaughter to hospital, and I didn’t think we were at that stage.
Still unable to calm the geekdaughter down, I tried giving her some Calpol. Somewhere around this point she decided she’d rather just go to bed, so I pre-emptively got a Pull-Up on her, and she lay down on her bed for a bit. At this point it was quite late for the geekson’s tea, so I went downstairs to start feeding him. Shortly afterwards the geekdaughter came downstairs again, and had calmed down enough for me to put the television on again for her. She snuggled on the dry end of the sofa to watch, still complaining of stomach ache. Shortly afterwards “Mummy I’ve got hiccups!”, followed by the Calpol making a rapid re-appearance on the sofa, along with most of her lunch. Joy. So I have to abandon the geekson with his tea, and start cleaning the geekdaughter up again. At this point the geekson demonstrates that he is mostly able to feed himself, thank you very much, which goes well until he starts tipping the food out of the bowl all over the high chair.
I think at this point we had another phonecall from a worried geekdaddy, and the geekdaughter was obviously feeling better as she managed to kick her brother full on in the face, hard enough to knock him over. So I end up with her on the naughty step, her brother screaming in my ear, and the geekdaddy feeling helpless at the end of the phone.
Thankfully it’s now pretty much bedtime, so I do my normal solo parent bedtime routine which involves getting the geekson in bed first, and then the geekdaughter. Usually she would watch television at this point, but I revoked her television privileges after the face-kicking incident, so she just went into her room to play. Or so I thought…
When I came out of the geekson’s bedroom, I discovered the geekdaughter flat out fast asleep on her bed. At this point I could tell she must have been feeling poorly, so I skipped the “teeth, face and try for a wee” routine, and just pulled the duvet up over her. At which point she mumbled “thanks Mum” as she rolled over and snuggled down. Oh she frustrates me at times, but at other times she is completely adoreable.
Thankfully at this point both kids were quiet for the rest of the evening, and I got to chill out on the sofa and watch Strictly Come Dancing. And I also earned a huge number of brownie points from the geekdaddy, who’d been able to hear what a rough time I’d had over the phone. Which is good, because this weekend the tables are turned, and he’s looking after both kids all do so that I can attend the Save the Children blogging conference. I hope he has an easier time than I did though 🙂