Friday, February 6, 2015

Day one on my own with four kids...

I've done temporary bouts of single motherhood before. When I say temporary, I mean a couple of days and nights. A few times, I have been on my own for a week or more, but this is my first time ever alone for seven straight days with all four kids. Here is what I was expecting of day one:

Day one is always the best day. I am pumped up, inspired. I can do this! I'm the mom! You get the idea. I do a bunch of inspired cleaning, cook great meals, bedtime is a militant but loving affair. Everything goes smoothly. Today looked nothing like that.

All three of my boys have been dealing with sickness this week. Yesterday, the oldest two stayed home from school, sick, and the third had no school, and the fourth doesn't go to school, so I had all four home yesterday. Well, I could hear Cody coughing all night the night before, and at 5 a.m. he burst into my room and shouted, "I feel barfy!" That brought on the usual instant dread from me, and I sent him back to bed with a pail. He didn't throw up, and his stomach was better by morning, but apparently he was awake at 4 a.m. and never slept again. Let me just say, his mood the rest of the day reflected his poor sleep with great accuracy. Jamie was coughing too, and Micah had the fever earlier in the week, but had an ear problem yesterday. So, today was a day off school, and all of my boys were in fantastic moods. Wait, no, that is completely sarcastic. The fighting I witnessed today, both with my eyes and with my ears, was non-stop. Horrible, horrible fighting. I was completely fried within the first hour of the day. Lauren was mostly a delight, as usual, though she had her share of two-year-old meltdowns. In fact, while I did my workout, she literally stood facing me, with her mouth wide open, screaming repeatedly as loud as she could. Why? Because I offered her a sippy cup of water, and she didn't want any water. Well. Excuse me!!!!

True to form, I did work extra hard today, and it was a long day indeed. I have been working almost non-stop for the last three days to clean up our horrible basement, and this morning, I finished the job. Wow. It looks amazing down there! After that, I came up and fed the kids lunch. Then it was time for my workout, which was supposed to be followed by a shower. Except I didn't get to shower, because after the workout, I had to run outside and uncover the cord that was by the tractor in case I have to plug the tractor in some time this week.

Which brings me to a rabbit trail. We have lived here nine years. I don't know how to run the tractor. So, Mike is gone a whole week, and guess what the forecast looks like? Snow. Snow, snow, snow. Okay. We live in the boonies here, and our driveway is not a city driveway. It's long. I can't shovel it. So if the snow gets deep enough, I'm trapped here, unless I can wrangle a brother-in-law to come and plough the driveway. At least I drive a big truck with four wheel drive. Hopefully the snow won't get deep enough to trap the truck in.

Anyway, the cord was stuck in the snow, and it took me forever to uncover the part that plugs into the tractor. But I found it, and hung it over the tire, so it's available if I need it, and it won't get buried under future snowfalls. While I was outside, I did a super quick shovel job of the back deck staircase, so it wouldn't get out of hand this week. All in all, I was probably outside for about fifteen minutes. During that time, all "you-know-what" broke loose in the house. Apparently, one of the kids winged a pair of binoculars into the TV and another one was swearing. Swearing. We are a non-swearing household. I could go on and on about this. I was extremely distraught by this point. They also took the liberty of watching TV, which they knew they were not allowed. It was clear I could not leave them unattended for even ten minutes, so my shower was no longer an option. Instead, I baked oatmeal cookies for them, because I had no other snack, and by the time they were ready, it was time for supper. We eat supper at 4 p.m. on Fridays, because otherwise they don't eat until 8 or 9 p.m.

Fridays are hockey nights. I was to be at the rink by 4:30 p.m. with all of them, and with three sets of equipment. Jamie and Micah had practice from 5-6 p.m. I wasn't convinced they were even well enough to be on the ice. Micah did snow angels and flopped around like a fish out of water. That is literally what he looked like. By the time they were done, I wanted to go home, but Cody had a game starting at 6:30 p.m.

The game was fantastic. (Sarcasm again.) His team is a young novice team, and as such, they are one of the worst in the league. They get slaughtered almost every single game. Tonight was no exception. The final score was 14-5 for the other team. The difference tonight was the classy parents on the other team. (Oops. Sarcasm again.) Hockey parents have a choice between sitting inside the warm area, where you can't cheer loudly for the team, or freezing their hind ends out on the bleachers in the cold part, where you can yell for your team. (I'm talking encouraging yells here.) I always go to the cold part. The hockey moms on our team are loud and fun, and we always make the most noise cheering and laughing, though we are told the kids can barely hear us.

Tonight, there were only five of us out there cheering on our kids. The other team had approximately thirty. Maybe twenty. I don't know. It was a big crowd, but that wasn't what set them apart. They brought air horns. Air horns. And cow bells. And every time their kids scored, they raised the roof. Well, for the first three or four goals, it was somewhat understandable. But on the fourteenth goal,  they were still blowing multiple air horns and jingling those dang cow bells, and our kids were so discouraged. They scared Micah really badly with their noise makers as he was walking by, and then they laughed at him, which brought him to me in tears. (He is five.) I was very annoyed by this point. But then Lauren said she needed to go to the bathroom, and as I her walked past them, a dad blew the air horn right when we were right in front of him. There was no goal or related action in the game at that moment. Just an obnoxious man, scaring my two year old.

Honestly, maybe I overreacted, but I was so angry. I was only a hair away from climbing the bleachers and telling them that our kids have been slaughtered every single game, and now they were rubbing it in their faces. I started to understand why fights sometimes break out between hockey parents. It's almost funny, how angry I was. All of us were somewhat disgusted with the other team's parents. I don't know. Maybe that's normal behaviour at a game for kids ages 8 and under. Seems a little over the top to me. If it were a close game, I would understand a little more. We have joked about bringing air horns to our games, but we have never done it. And if we were winning every game by a landslide, I wouldn't even joke about it.

Anyway, when all was said and done, I didn't get the kids home until 8:40, and they were not all settled in bed until 9:15. I am exhausted, and my throat is scratching from yelling at the top of my lungs through the whole game. I don't have a loud voice, and I'm certainly no match for an air horn.

Now, I face my first of seven nights without Mike. I am praying nobody is up with nightmares, or loses a soother in the middle of the night, or bursts into my room just before throwing up. Tomorrow is a free day, and I think we all need it. My plan is to get the upstairs as clean as the downstairs. It might take another three days, but it's a worthy goal.

And now I will rest my aching feet, and try not to worry about Mike as he travels. I apologize for the long-winded and very disjointed post. I think I just needed to get that one out. Goodnight everyone.

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