Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Everyday Life: This is only a test

I've gotta hand it to the single mamas out there; I don't know how they do it. I'm not technically a single mama, but I play one in real life during the weeks when John works out of town. Being with G 24 hours a day and being the main caretaker is rewarding, but it's also harder than I imagined. Let's flashback to last week: John was out of town, and all hell broke lose.

Monday: I got my braces put on (Don't ask, because it's a long story.) For those of you who never have had braces, let me fill you in with a few words: awkward, pain, liquid diet. Enough said about my general state of discomfort.

Tuesday at 4:40 a.m.: G stirs in bed quite a bit and then proceeds to barf all over the bed. And then he barfs all over me. I have a sick baby and a mouth full of metal wires yanking my teeth into new positions while grating against my gums. Fun. And I haven't been able to eat anything solid for about one day.

Wednesday at 4:30 a.m.: I wake up with that lousy feeling in my stomach, and I know I've got the same stomach flu bug G has. But for reasons unknown, the virus takes me to levels of low. My mom ends up driving 1.45 hours to take care of G because I cannot pull myself from bed. When she arrives, G has been screaming in the crib for about 25 minutes. Three hours later we make it to the acute care center because I'm so dehydrated I can't function. After having two bags of IV fluids and anti-nausea medicine pumped into my system, I'm sent home with the following instructions: drink lots of fluids and sleep. I think the staff misses the part about me having an eight-month-old baby who doesn't really care that mommy's sick; he just wants to play. Thankfully, John rescues me from having to spend one more night alone with G and returns home. I would have had to go home with my mom if John hadn't come back because I really couldn't take care of G alone until Friday. How do single moms do it when they get sick?

Maybe last week was just a fluke, but, nonetheless, it spoke volumes to me about how tough it must be to run the parenting show as a solo act. This week has been a normal week with no barf, and I'm still worn out by 7 p.m. I'm considering taking up a caffeine addiction in order to keep up. Any other suggestions?

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