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Me? Not Much.

First, I’m not sure if I’ve said this before, but SINGLE MOTHERS RULE.

Tariq is in Colorado doing God-only-knows-WHAT for work.

I’ll tell you what he’s not doing.

He’s not dealing with a fourteen year old attitude trapped in a five year old body.

We have had no less than three time outs in three days in which I may or may not have used the words, “obedience, respect, honor and duty to one’s elders” as integral parts of my lecturing.  I actually heard myself use a phrase that my mother used with me countless times... “Ye Kya Badthamesee hain...”  (“What sort of disrespect is this?).

You have no idea how horrifying that moment was for me.

I’ll tell you what else he’s not doing.

He’s not trying to clean up a bottle of Sprite that his one year old son just decided to dump out on the floor five minutes before dinner.

And notice that I didn’t say “knock over.”

Notice that my word choice implied the very real situation of having the child unscrew the top off of a 2 liter bottle of Sprite and pour it on to the kitchen floor.

First, the child laughed.

Then, he wrinkled his brow and went, “Ohnoooo, wet.”

Yeah, you’re a genius, kid, and if it didn’t take me two hours to figure out how to clean up without making the entire kitchen floor become something reminiscent of a big sheet of contact paper that crap might have been cute.

No, but, seriously.

How do women do this without someone coming home around 5:30 to relieve them to at least some degree?!  I mean, even if your partner comes home and sits on the sofa for four hours at least you know someone will be there to call 911 when the kids set the house on fire and you pass out from trying to put it out.

And it is furthermore incredible to me that some women have not only done this for the entire lifetime of their children, but that some of those kids end up being, like, president and stuff.

What the WHAT... how does THAT happen?

In related news, I’m thinking unscrewing a bottle of Sprite is some sort of signifier regarding leadership potential.

Reader Comments (38)

I would vote for Y on that face alone.

February 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Britt

Duct tape. Lots of duct tape.

February 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

I wonder how single women do it, too. I'm thinking drugs.
Seriously. Hurry home, Tariq. Bring drugs.

February 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSybil Law

Oddly, I find I find I get much more done when Mitch is out of town. Go figure.

February 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

You hold on tight and pinch the bridge of your nose, and then sigh. This is what I do with my staff, and my children. It works well. It keeps me from killing all involved, and keeps me from going to jail. Just kidding, however, I've been doing it for four years now. C works evenings so I am always alone in the evening. Some days I cry, some days I walk away. Some days I just laugh at them. But, I think I've gotten better in the last 4 years, I hope so anyway. Good Luck!!

February 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecca

Cats. That's why I have cats.

February 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterB.E. Earl

Single moms are amazing. I have no clue how they do it!
Of course, Marc always gets home late. So, when he gets home at 10:30 or 11:00 and says, "What's for dinner," I want to throttle him. Because, my "housewife" time is over at 7:30 when the kids go to bed, and more often than not, I'm studying when he gets home. Whatevs! What's for dinner is whatever he makes.

February 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

I am in complete awe of single mothers most of the time -- the ones who are present for their kids and still manage to do all of that other stuff. Heck. I'm just in awe with moms period. I used to spend six hours a day with other people's children. As much as I loved them, some days what got me through was knowing that at the end of my "shift," someone else would be taking over. It was the best form of birth control for this single gal.

February 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKailyn

Well... I think the majority of us start off not doing it well, realize that we're not doing it well, and then figure out why. Usually the why is something to do with not giving our selves enough allowances - feeling like we have to be prefect, or our kids the most well-behaved, or not economically-desperate or whatever, feeling like (as I did) while our kids are awake, we're on 'duty' and owe them our every moment of attention.

Then, we wake the eff up, realize that we're deserved of our own space and time and enjoyment that doesn't necessarily always include a shorter version of ourselves involved. And we rent Jake Gyllenhaal movies, to prove it.

Really? My number one thing is this: I instilled within Zoë a need, right and selfishness about her own space - so when she's getting too PMSy, or I am, it's simply said that one or the other of us needs our own space. Seriously, honesty (even bluntly spoken to a 4yo) has done me a world of good.

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZoeyjane

I can barely take care of both kids when my wife's HOME (but out of commission due to a migraine or whatever), let alone solo for weeks on end.

(Also? My first thought on a 1 year old that can open a 2L Sprite? Either the mom needs to tighten that cap or the boy is mutant-strong, but in a cute mutant way.)

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSciFi Dad

A 2-year-old unscrewing a bottle cap is totally future President material.

We do it b/c if we don't nobody else will. But like Sybil said.. Duct tape.
And vodka.
I am a single mom of two Drama Tweens 11 and 13 (she'll be 14 in 3 wks. She *thinks* she's 25. Somedays? She acts 3.) and I do what has to be done because like I said, if I don't, nobody else will.
Now, please pass the vodka.

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

@Becky, did you just confuse me with Sybil?

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

Yeah, I did.
Haven't had my coffee yet.
Now shut up and pass the vodka. Or coffee.

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

Oh, and I'm sorry....

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

I was always pretty impressed at what an awesome job my mom did as a single parent. She managed to take me to see plays, had me in ballet/tap/jazz three times a week, gave me piano lessons, took me on great vacations every summer, etc. Now that I am a mom I have NO CLUE how she made it all work. I am home alone with my son two days a week and it's HARD. Single moms rule!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElita @ Blacktating

I hope he's home now and you can take a nice, long nap. Or at least an uninterrupted shower.

Mine spilled a bottle of maple syrup on the floor today while I was tweeting.

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate

i wanna have a kid just so i can use “obedience, respect, honor and duty to one’s elders” and “Ye Kya Badthamesee hain…” in a reprimand. frikken awesome!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

I suck at the whole discipline thing. I have issues with guilt and upsetting my children and if they cry after I say 'no' to their bad behaviour - eating another chocolate, not picking up, not wanting to take a bath - I give in. SIGH. SIGH SIGH. I need Supernappy like you would NOT believe. To be fair to my children, they're really wonderful, just normal, active, loud, active, loud, active, loud 3 and 5 year olds. I'm lucky to have a big family here to support us and babysit and I'm also lucky I can sit in an office in peace 9 to 5 every day. Although I also have guilt about working and not staying home....

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLoukia

@Miss Britt, Yep... plus, he's going to be a raging leftist liberal... there's really no choice in the matter.

February 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Avitable, Then I'd have to explain the red marks to the teachers and stuff. That's the problem with sending your kids to a school, they're kind of on society's radar. One more reason to homeschool.

February 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Sybil Law, Mmmm, drugs.

February 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Megan, No, I agree. The kids were in bed every night by 7:30 and asleep by 8. I got at least 9 hours of sleep every night. The house was immaculate before I went to bed. I was a paragon of efficiency.
I think it's that way for me because other people's opinions are distracting to me. Heh. That wasn't even a joke.

February 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Becca, Thanks... the pinching of the nose technique is a keeper.

February 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@B.E. Earl, Oh, don't even get me started on the CAT. The cat is a whole other issue.

February 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Andrea, I'm going to file Marc's response under the "What did YOU do all day?" category. Also known as, "Crap My Husband Says Because He's Clearly HIGH."

February 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Kailyn, I don't know if I could do this for other people's kids. Maybe my nieces or nephews... but I don't think I could do it with kids I don't share some genetics with...

February 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Zoeyjane, Good points... I think it's almost like because you are solely responsible, you sort of laser in on the important stuff and not worry about the extraneous details? I have noticed with N. (my 5 year old) the issue of space is easier to deal with than with Y. (1 year old). He doesn't understand space. At all. AT ALL.

February 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@SciFi Dad, "the mom needs to tighten that cap..." GAWD, you are SUCH a DAD.
He's mutant strong. Let's just leave it at that.

February 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing], I know, right? Plus, he's Muslim. Like Barack Obama.

February 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Becky, I don't even want to THINK about when they are actually teenagers. And I just realized that unlike yours, mine four years apart. Which means I will be dealing with a teenager's attitude for about ten years straight. Awesome.

February 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Elita @ Blacktating, It's truly incredible... I can't believe your mom was able to do all that stuff with you. Wow!

February 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Kate, Yeah... nope. He came home, then made me go to the doctor... then went to work in the morning. Naps? I remember those.

February 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@hello haha narf, Lol... it was pretty cool, I have to say.

February 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Loukia, No good ever came of guilt, I think. Especially because the things you've mentioned here aren't things you've done "wrong," you know?

February 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Faiqa, oh, the space thing comes with time. For Z it was hard, but I think that my emphasis (like, when she was melting down) of saying "you can be upset, but you need to do it in your own space and respect my right to not have someone screaming at me" while putting her in her room made a difference. It became more of her own choice, to go to her own space and work out stuff. I made sure that it wasn't presented as a time-out or punishment, but with the choice in her court - she could come out when she felt calm and ready to. By about 18 months, she 'got' it and it's really helpful, now that the PMS-y 4-going-on-14 stage is here.

February 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZoeyjane

I did the single mom gig for years and (for me) it was just something I did. There were times it was stressful, but I built a support system for myself so that I still had someone to take over when I was comatose with the flu. Honestly? I'm going to be a rebel and say that *for me* I liked single parenting better than co-parenting, because I never experienced co-parenting as a team effort. I felt like the clean up crew undoing the next douchey thing the ex did, and once I was single that stopped. I could do things my way.

February 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

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