Friday, January 23, 2009

Adventures in Single-Parenting

Day One.
I took the day off work because Tuesday is Sam’s day for being home with Luca and picking Paolo up from school, and I didn’t want to mess with their routine. I got everyone to their designated locations on time, did all the grocery shopping for the week, and was home by noon. I hung out with the sniffly baby, got the house in order, and picked up Paolo at 3:00. We had an early dinner, a mellow evening, and the boys went to bed on time. I took a nice long shower and prepped for tomorrow morning, making lunches and stuffing Paolo’s backpack, my work bag, and Luca’s daycare bag.

Single-parenting, with tight organization, is a piece of cake.

Day Two.
I got everyone dressed, fed, and delivered to school, daycare and work on time. I was feeling unstoppable when the phone rang at noon. It was Luca’s daycare director. Luca’s teacher had been noticing his lips and fingertips looking blue, and the director accurately deduced he was having trouble breathing. I knew I had the medicine he needed at home, but I called the pediatric clinic to see if I could bring Luca in for a breathing treatment right away, since the clinic is across the street and my house is across town. The clinic couldn’t give him an appointment for over two hours. I thought I must have left out the part about the signs of oxygen deprivation, so I explained the situation again. Nope, they absolutely could not see him until 2:30, which really means 3:30 because I would have to spend at least an hour in the waiting room. Even if I had been inclined to take the time slot, I had to be at Paolo’s school at 3:00 sharp to pick him up. I told them no thanks when what I really should have said was fuck off. However, I am a lady. When I picked up Luca, he was not any shade of blue, which was good news for everyone because I had planned to storm the damn pediatric clinic and scream the paint off the walls until they treated him. Instead, we just went home, and I got Luca’s breathing under control in no time.

Once Paolo got home, we started our evening plan of early dinner, baths, and movie night. While I worked on my crowd-pleasing turkey burgers, Luca trapped himself in the bathroom. He shut the door behind him and began opening drawers and pulling out their contents. The drawers are right next to the doorframe, so a pulled-out drawer blocks the door from opening more than a half inch. Only the slimmest of fingers can work the drawer closed through the narrow crack. Can you tell I’ve done this before? But this magical time, Luca had pulled my hair dryer halfway out of the middle drawer and wedged it upright, so the drawer wouldn’t close, and the door couldn’t open. For thirty solid minutes, I tried to move the hair dryer with chopsticks and wire hangers, meanwhile begging Luca with varying degrees of amusement, anger, and fear to pick up the hair dryer. I was deciding between breaking down the door myself or calling the fire department when I hooked the cord with the hanger and lifted the hair dryer out of the drawer. Paolo and I nearly cried with relief when the door opened, and Luca barely looked up from shredding toilet paper.

Single-parenting, the moment a crisis hits, sucks donkey.

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