Quasi-Single Parent Protocol

I’ve been very quiet of late, I’m aware.

All of us have periods where we’re single parenting.  There was the several days where my wife went to Vegas with her sister, and I disappear for a few days at a time here and there to go to my competitions… but this is the first time that I’m “in charge” while she’s actually still physically present, which makes things interesting.

Last week, my wife had elective surgery.  (Nothing serious, and she’s come through it well.)  This has, however, necessitated a prolonged period where I’m going to be the primary caregiver for the kids.  The doctor says it’ll be probably around six weeks before she’s back near 100% – in the meantime, I’m doing all the lifting, driving, (most of the) cooking, bathing and everything.

For me, this is a little bit strange since… the kids are different, obviously, to me than they are to her.  R, being a NT child and very smart, tends to push boundaries a lot more to see what he can get away with, and often tries manipulating the situation to his advantage.  The Monster, on the other hand, has been very sedentary over spring break, and is being harder to dislodge from any particular spot – he’s really preferred to stay at the table, for some reason, and I’m not pushing it.  They’re both aware that for the moment, even though Mommy’s in the house, I’m in charge and mostly in R’s case, I’m seeing the wheels turning where he’s debating with himself where he thinks he can try to appeal to her instead of to me, which makes for clunkier operations in the household.

The only positive – neither she nor I at the moment have to put up with my snoring.  She’s living down on the ground floor where she can more easily get around, and I’m still upstairs at night, save when I’m coming down in the middle of the night to wake her for medication or to get her a fresh drink.  The major negative – this happened during Passover, so she’s eating what she cares to and I’m keeping KLP with the kids, and let’s be honest, they’d rather have hot dogs right now when I’m quite content to keep the holiday to its fullest.

That said, it’s definitely a little confusing to the kids, who are very accustomed to going to her before me for things, and more so when she’s around and telling them to go back to me for whatever it is.  It’s more difficult for my work situation – I return to work on Wednesday – since I’m also working from home more to make sure that she’s taken care of and to run the carpools.  But we’re making it work, between some pre-made meals so I’m not always cooking bachelor-style for the children, re-navigating how we handle bath time so that the children are actually clean for school, and herding the children around the house so that she can supervise without having to move around much.

Fortunately, we don’t have anything serious coming up for the Monster, since his IEP is squared away.  The biggest ‘lift’ for the next few weeks is R’s preschool schedule, and I’m going to fit work around that until she’s back to driving.  She’ll be back to driving before we get to the end of the school year, which’d involve a lot of driving back and forth and starts getting into potential time conflicts between the children.

But… just so you know, that’s why I’ve been quiet.

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