This being Chris’s second business trip in a very short time, I’ve developed a greater admiration for single parents. Not that I’m comparing myself to a single parent by any means – but let’s just say I’m looking forward to Chris’s return home this weekend.
Actually, Chris has become quite good around the house. He hardly ever steps over the hurricane of toys anymore, but rather puts them away. He loads and unloads the dishwasher, and has even developed his own “method”, which he claims cleans the dishes better, and for which I find him most endearing. He even occasionally washes pots and pans. I make sure to thank him profusely and recognize his efforts. A little praise goes a long way to encourage wanted behaviour. Because, ladies, men don’t come out of a box that way.
I’ve convinced myself that the girls choose the periods of Chris’s absence to test the limits of my patience as a favour to me. They probably figure that by requiring my constant attention as a cook, maid or referee, I won’t be nearly as lonely. That’s probably why my little angels have argued about everything from who gets to wear the most costume jewelry (thanks again, Chris, for the three hundred plastic beaded necklaces you brought back from your last trade show), to whose little toe is over the imaginary line dividing the couch into two equal parts, to who gets to sit in the back or the front of the bath.
I hold the same diversion argument for sleep deprivation.
How do I wake thee? Let me count the ways.
We spent part of last weekend at my cousin Lidia’s house. The kids got to play together, and Lidia and I got to hang out and even treat ourselves to a culinary treat at the Staye House. The sleeping arrangements seemed logical: my youngest shared a bedroom with her younger cousin, and my oldest shared a bed with me.
I quickly found out that Olivia, who incidentally squirms around, slowly abandons her pillow and invades mine, and affectionately leaches on to my arm, all while being sound asleep, also grinds her teeth. In fact, I believe she secretly swallowed a loudspeaker before bedtime, just to make sure I could hear it nice and loud. Every hour or two. Until about 6:45 a.m., when Angelina wandered into the bedroom, claiming her cousin sings to herself and woke her up. Naturally, the only thing she could do was share the joy.
The next night, I was happy to be back in my bed and relieved to have my girls in their own beds. Until about 4:30 a.m., when a very groggy Angelina came into my room and woke me up. At first I assumed maybe she had to go potty. She said “Mommy, my pillow is crooked.” My first thought: “Go ask daddy.” Oh right. He’s not here. I got up, took her by the hand, brought her back to bed, straightened out the damn pillow and told her to go to sleep. Sigh.
Anyone remember this commercial? A cute little girl comes into her parents’ bedroom, goes to mommy and asks “Mommy, can you make me breakfast?” To which the mommy replies, “Go ask daddy.” The little girl walks around the bed and asks “Daddy, can mommy make me breakfast?” as a smile appears on daddy’s face, his eyes still closed.
I never wanted to know what 4:30 a.m. looked like. My revenge will come in about 15 years, the morning after they’ve gone out partying with friends. Wakey wakey… eggs and bakey!!
I guess it’s not that bad. Olivia helps clear the table after meals, and even helped Angelina get her coat, shoes and hat on both before school, and before swimming lessons, as a surprise to me. More importantly, it involved no whining on their part. I really do enjoy seeing them spend time together without hearing any arguing or bickering.
Note to self: buy more duct tape.