Last weekend, Cherise booked a job working a convention for 3 consecutive days – Thursday evening through Saturday morning. It only made sense for her to stay at a hotel for the duration (the convention was 60 miles away). This meant that I would be all alone with Cub (for those of you who don’t know, that’s his nickname and we love it)
Anyway, I was all alone with him for the longest period of his life to date. That meant I would have to figure out how to shower, eat, get work done and take care of myself while watching him and making sure that he ate and was taken care of as well (we pretty much split the duties on a regular basis – when I work, she’s with him and vice versa)
Piece of cake, right?
To be perfectly honest, it went great! We had so much fun together. On Thursday, I took him to the park during the day to play, and then we came home for his nap (he actually slept for 1.5 hours!) Then we went to Gymboree in the evening. I fed him after we got back and put him to bed. Easy.
Friday was a little different. This was the first time that I was going to start a day and end a day with no help whatsoever. Jacob hooked me up and woke up at 7:30. Nice! A sleep-in. I got him and we went to the kitchen for his breakfast and my coffee. Then we watched his Elmo video together (he absolutely ADORES Elmo). After playing for a while, I put him in his crib while I took a shower – he was such a good boy – he basically just sat there and played with some of the toys I left for him.
When I finished getting ready, I took him to the park. We played for almost 2 hours. The park that was super busy the previous day was almost desolate. It was great! We left the park and went to the mall. After going on the carousel, I got us some french fries to share. Then it was time to go home for his nap.
Except he refused to sleep. It was 2:30, and we were both exhausted. I had to push through though! We hung out for a while and then I asked him if he wanted to eat. He didn’t respond. I asked if he wanted to go a different park. He said “ya. Diffem pau” (I know, he’s adorable!) So, we went to a different park. We played for a while. He saw a dog and said “Hi doggie” – I was proud. Then he started asking for his bottle (it’s a sippy cup at this point, but I’m not about to argue semantics with my toddler; I’m just happy he’s communicating) so we went to the car. I asked if he wanted to stay – he said “done!” So we left for home. I fed him and then we played some more and I put him to bed.
I collapsed on the couch. Exhausted.
But also fulfilled. We really had so much fun together.
It was then that I realized just how amazing single parents (whether moms or dads) truly are. And also how blessed Cherise and I are to have each other.
The next morning we started all over – Jacob woke up, I got him and proceeded to the kitchen for coffee and breakfast. I was working an event in Joshua Tree that night and I was already tired. Well, that’s what coffee’s for. Everything went great, by the way.
The next time you see a stay-at-home parent (mom or dad), resist the urge to ask “what do you do all day?” Because the answer is “plenty”.
And if you feel the words “just a mother/father” escaping your mouth while describing a stay-at-home parent, punch yourself in the face because it’s the most wonderful, fulfilling and exhausting job out there.
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