Spring Break

Up at 5:30 a.m.–disoriented and realizing that the splattering, trickling noise was my son, peeing in the corner of his bedroom.  I got to his room in time to see him blithely changing into a different pair of pj’s and getting ready to go back to bed.

My ex had warned me that he’d witnessed this behavior a couple of times, and told me not to blame it on the dog.  I thought to myself, WTF?  He’d never do that in MY house!  But then he did.

At times like this, it’s best not to think about what my mother would do in such a situation, or at least to remember, and tone it down about 500 notches.  Having your child believe they will actually be killed by you for peeing in their room is maybe not the aim.

So, I put my boy in a warm tub, explained that that behavior is most definitely not OK–and went to clean up and spread baking soda on the edge of the carpet.

After the bath was done, clean pajamas donned, a deal about never doing that again forged, and the boy snuggled back in bed, I made the coffee and took the dog out.  H was curled up resting in his “big cat on a branch” posture, and I was about two degrees too awake to make myself believe it was still night time.

While I was out with the dog, one thought kept running through my head: Men need women to remind them they’re not animals.  Women need men to remind them they are. True?  I don’t know.  Call it a 5:30 a.m. hypotheses.

No one said it was going to be easy being a single parent. Frankly, it’s completely exhausting.  I’m not one of those people who lives exclusively for their child, but I can see how a single parent almost has to in order to have enough energy to get done even the basics.

We’ve had this unexpected gift of a week together, and for the most part, it has been sweet.  But along with the sweetness have been some definite sour notes, and a lot of wrangling over time for mom to get her own stuff done–all the stuff that pays the bills and fills the pantry.

Though I’m happy to be in the situation I’m in, I’ll admit there’s some envy of those couples who’ve got more than one child (to keep the other busy), and more than one person to do the dishes, laundry, remember it’s garbage day, and give the other a break.

Thankfully, my neighbors do occasionally take M on a field trip or let him play at their houses with their kids when he’s here–and I am incredibly grateful for that little span of time to sweep the kitchen floor or work on my classes or start a few more seeds.

The weather is warming up starting today, and that will help, too.  It’s a different thing to have your child home for a week with no school, brutal cold, and only one of you to keep him occupied than it is to get him up, dressed, and off to school for the day, giving you your regular workday as well.

The warmer weather will bring his neighborhood friends out to play, and I’m hoping these last few days of our spring break will go easier. At the least, I’m hoping for no more 5:30 a.m. clean-up detail.


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