I wish I could write a fantastic post about our new routine. Of how our children are adapting wonderfully to the drastic change in our lives, of how I'm taking it all in stride and successfully stepping into my role of single parent.
But I'd be lying.
Truth be told, single parenting is for the birds. Big fat ugly buzzard birds. It's not the amount of work involved with the feeding and cleaning, dressing and grooming, transporting and caring for three small children. Nor is it the incessant volumes of laundry and never-ending instructions to pick up and clean up so our house stays somewhat tidy while it's being marketed for sale. Neither is it the ongoing dialogue of 'stop bickering', 'leave your sister alone', 'stop whining', and 'I don't care if he breathed on you - it's his air too.' And it's not even the stress of trying to push these children out of my mind and daily thoughts while I try my best to focus on the communities I am writing for as we embark on Grant Season 2012.
No - it's the little things that I'm completely unequipped to deal with. Like what? Here's a few examples...
Jack - locking the bathroom door shut - the bathroom door that leads to the laundry room - that God forbid we can't access as it not only holds the obvious but also all of the medical crap we've accumulated over the years (thermometers, band-aids, medications, etc...) as well as the majority of cleaning supplies that are constantly in use thanks to two little boys whose names both start with 'J'. Thank goodness for good friends - Brian - if you're reading this - thank you for your knowledge in how to pick locks - after the stupid lock still wouldn't disengage after taking the doorknob off - and the only way to open the door was via the old 'credit card' trick.
James - screwing around in the garage - and then coming upstairs to proudly tell me how he'd made ice! My half-hearted listening to his tales of his recent scientific experiment resulted in my discovery that the freezer door had been left open - for who knows how long -- effectively defrosting boxes of breakfast items, lemon-ade ice pops, pizzas, rolls -you name it - the once fruitful bounty of my stock-up trip to Sams - now a sad puddle on my garage floor.
James - again - pooping prior to getting in the bathtub - and in his excitement to get into the water with his brother to play with the new bath toy - neglecting to take care of proper sanitary business - resulting in my return to the bathroom to wash hair - only to find two little boys playing in bath water littered with pieces of (ahem) crap. Because I have unlimited time to transport wet boys to another bathroom to scrub - then disinfect the bathtub and all contaminated toys with bleach.
And it goes on and on ...
Kids doing stupid stuff. Me losing my patience. Kids crying. Me feeling horrible.
Clearly I'm not cut out for this. And all of you who think I have it so 'together' and am doing such a 'great job' - yeah - I have you completely fooled. Because I don't. As evidenced by my night-time ritual of dissolving into tears.
I have to believe that the ends justify the means - but right now - at this moment in time when I'm in the thick of three very dependent children who are insanely curious and freakishly smart to come up with some of the stupid crap they do - I have to pause and wonder.