Friday, September 12, 2008

Single motherhood stinks

So Dean is in Baltimore for four days attending a conference. The scintillating topic is "Blood Avoidance." I believe this means how to avoid having to give as many transfusions to critical kids, but it is still unclear to me and sounds dead boring to boot.
Unlike me, who would be wearing a party hat and waving sparklers, Dean was quite devastated to leave us for the weekend. To me, four days alone in a Marriott with free food, clean sheets, a bathtub scrubbed by someone other than me, and a stack of novels sounds just shy of heaven. I say this now, but I must admit that the one time I left my little family behind for a trip alone, I was so homesick I thought I would die. Still, I was pregnant and hormonal and I was going to see Janice, whose little baby Jack was so very sick in the hospital, so it wasn't what you would call a getaway. Dean can't be convinced to enjoy himself, though. While I was at BSF Wednesday morning, he cleaned the house for me. I was ecstatic and he explained that he did it "because I'm going to.....," and at that point had to turn away because he was all choked up. I'm not even going to tell him that an hour or so after he left, Frankie heard a plane overhead and ran to the screen door yelling "Dad! Hi, Dad! Hi, DADDY! HI!!!!." He would probably need to be checked into a psychiatric ward under suicide watch.
Things were great yesterday afternoon after he left. The baby napped and Frankie and I played lots of games together.
We made Thomas crash into CDs we lined up like dominoes.
We ran races with rhubarb leaves on our heads.

We had a picnic in the yard with graham crackers and books.

But then, darkness fell.
Both girls went to bed without any fuss. But by ten 0'clock, Frankie had already woken up three times yelling for Mommy to tuck her in like a burrito. Given that my insomnia issues already stem from worrying about not being able to fall asleep, knowing that at any moment my tenuous thread of sleepiness might be broken by a shout from Frankie made it impossible to shut my eyes. Finally, after her fourth call to me, I brought her in bed with me thinking that would solve the problem. I mistakenly thought that a king-sized bed would be mattress enough for one woman and a 27 pound, 32 inch tall toddler. I was dead wrong. It was just like sleeping with a blue marlin in its death throes. The mattress shook in a way that defied the physics of her body weight. Each time I shoved her over, she somehow ended up horizontal ten minutes later with her foot over my shoulder. She periodically would sit up, fully lucid and begin questioning me. "Why it is so dark in here, Mommy? I think I am all done sleeping." Yeah, I think I am all done sleeping, too.
Please advise: how does one get a toddler to stop calling for you in the middle of the night?

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