Not only are you amazing for being solely responsible for your child/children 24-7-365, but you must also possess some sort of magical power that helps you operate on less sleep, grow three extra arms when needed and the oh-so-helpful pair of eyes in the back of your head. And a question for you…. how exactly do you manage to pee while out by yourself with a baby that can’t yet walk and/or be leashed to you?
I am solo parenting this week while Scott is out of town for business, and I thought it would be a FABULOUS idea to make a road trip, just me and Kendall, down to Austin for a night to meet up with my sister and best friend for dinner. Now, don’t get me wrong… I enjoyed the visiting part, but clearly the mom-nesia has already infested my brain, causing me to so quickly forget that my child HATES road trips. All the fussing aside, it wasn’t that bad, but it was HARD work! In all my life I have never worked so hard for a plate of enchiladas, a sangria, and some good conversation.
Let’s start with how long it takes to pack the clothes, diapers, toys, pack and play, medicine, and teethers. It was just the two of us and just one night. I swear, it had to take me at least an hour and a half to get all this crap together and in the back of the Jeep. Now, before you go guffawing at my poorly proficient packing skills, please know that this was not an hour and a half of constant attention to the packing process. No. Nothing ever these days gets that sort of attention. The packing process was more like this – put Kendall in the middle of the floor with a bunch of toys, run off to find a bag to throw everything in, run in to check on Kendall and decide it’s best if the dogs are just locked in the other room for now since I will never get anything done if I’m constantly worried that they will step on him, lock up dogs and grab my clothes and makeup, fetch the ball that Kendall has somehow managed to roll across the entire room before he explodes into a ball of fiery pissed-off-ness because he, in fact, can not crawl yet and can’t fetch it himself, dash to the dryer to make sure the diapers are dry, of course…they aren’t, restart the dryer, grab two outfits for Kendal, grab two more (because accidents happen!), run back in for a quick game of peek-a-book with the increasingly annoyed baby….well, I could go on, but I’m sure you’re getting the point.
We finally hit the road a good 45 minutes later than I had planned (and that was giving myself a 30 minute running late cushion). I decide to stop at Walgreens on the way out to grab some baby Anbesol (thanks, Hunter, for reminding me of this stuff!). Well, there is no such thing as a quick trip in and out when it’s just you and the baby. I had to take him out of the car seat, which made him squeal with delight, pop him on my hip and run in – easy as running around with a 20 lb. dumbell that has the ability to move freely and in the opposite direction you are trying to go. We located the Anbesol and checked out fairly quickly. I was feeling good. I put him back in the carseat, which made him shriek with disapproval. The only thing that gets him to calm down so I can manipulate his arms into the straps is for me to begin singing a song. Not just any song, it has to be this one –
“Willoughby wallaby Wendall
an elephant sat on Kendall
Willoughby wallaby wommy
an elephant sat on mommy…”
This goes on until we have willoughby-ed him, me, daddy, the dogs and the cat. I swear, it makes him stop crying and smile 99% of the time. So clearly my punishment for making him get in the car is to make a complete ass out of myself like his personal court jester.
He’s all strapped in. In a preemptive strike against the teething screams I decide to go ahead an numb him up with our newest addition to the medicine arsenal. I open the box only to discover I have to CUT the tube open, and my teeth would not do the trick. SHIT!!! I look at Kendall. He is happily sitting in his seat, strapped and buckled in. I look at the front door to Walgreens. It’s maybe ten steps away. I look around the parking lot, not a soul to be found. I decide to go for it. I clench on to my keys so that there would be no way they could slip from my death grip and somehow end up inside the vehicle after I shut the door and somehow lock the doors from the inside. I shut the door and lock it and run like a crazy woman in to Walgreens, lock eyes with the first clerk I see and say, “Siccors… I need them… NOW.” “Uhhh…. well, let’s see here… uhhh..” Oh shit, I think, I’m going to get arrested. My child is in my car and I’m not out there and I’m going to get arrested. The clerk finally looks over at the other register. “Uhh…. Linda?” I dash over to Linda, swipe the siccors from her hands, clip off the top and dash out just as she’s saying something that sounds like, “Teething, huh? That’s….” “Yeah, yeah, thanks! Bye!” I shout over my shoulder. I then slipped back inside the Jeep and found Kendall in the exact same position I left him – happily gnawing on his blanket. Whew!
I thought the most difficult was behind me, at least for the day. Afterall, I was headed to a place where there would be plenty of people who could help me out if need be. Kendall passed out thirty minutes into the 4 hour trip, I finished up my large soda about halfway there and figured I’d stop to pee in Waco. Then, like a ton of bricks, it hit me as I was driving 35. How the hell did I plan on going pee? I couldn’t/shouldn’t/wouldn’t leave him in the car for that. I sure as hell wouldn’t ask someone to hold him. I didn’t have my Moby wrap with me, and even if I did, I don’t know that that would work so well now that he is long enough to play splish splash with his feet in the toilet bowl. I considered just holding him, but the thought of all the nasty germy problems that would present themselves ruled that out. The only solution was to dig the big stroller out from underneath the pack and play and our bags, strap him in and take him into the stall with me. It worked, but again – so much work!
So to all of you single parents or parents doing this on your own while your partner serves in the millitary or travels – hats off to you!
Kendall is almost 5 months and 3 weeks old