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diary of a solo parent, week 2

Posts about parenting while Amy was away, continued.
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Week 1 is here:

June 28:

Day 8 of solo parenting. Here are 2 things I think all new parents should be told about eating with kids:
1. Don't expect to sit down for a full a meal in the next decade.
2. Serve small portions and save some in reserve. 
When my kids like a dish they will eat serving after serving. Natalie reliably eats 4 or 5 bowls of breakfast cereal (the equivalent of about 2 full-size adult portions) but as soon as I give her a bigger portion she decides she is done or no longer likes whatever it is.
During lunch on our porch today, I felt lazy and gave Natalie a full cup of milk. No sooner did we finish grace than the full cup of milk came flying into my lap. Natalie's first response: to cry "I want more milk!" My first response: to pull off my dripping shorts. Jacob's first response: to run for a towel. 
Natalie, I said, the least you could do when you spill is to apologize or help clean up. I'm sorry daddy, she said very sweetly, then began fighting Jacob for the towel to help. Got a second rag towel but would not let either of them dry off my food.
Dad, Jacob said, looking at the neighbors, I think you should put some pants on.

June 30:
Day 10 of solo parenting. The three of us fixed the clogged bathroom sink. Underneath it was dark and hot and crowded. Seemed like there were more wrenches and elbows than possible for three people. Someone was always in my way and it took an hour and a half. At some point I wondered why I was doing this – alone I could get the whole job done in 20 minutes. As we started to get grouchy Jacob started wondering the same thing. 
Natalie keeps sitting on me and she's not really helping, he said. Could you get her to leave?
To be honest, there's not enough room here and this would be easier to do myself, without your help, I told him. He looked hurt. But I want you here because I want you to learn how to do things like this. My mom taught me to fix plumbing and rewire lamps and build bookshelves when I was his age. 
Nevertheless I was grateful this afternoon to have friends who took Jacob and left me alone for five full hours. I celebrated at lunch by eating the entire chocolate Easter bunny I've been saving in one sitting.

July 1:
Day 11 of solo parenting. I couldn't do this alone. So glad I've got a village.
When Jacob had a girl friend over today, they went to his room and shut the door. What were they doing behind that closed door? They are only 8. What's up with that?
Later they went to the kitchen and raided the fridge. Another first.

July 2:
Day 12 and a half of solo parenting. I fell asleep with Natalie last night and just woke at 4:40 am.
I was ready to put both kids out to pasture yesterday, but our yard is not big enough for two separate corrals.

July 3:
Day 14 of solo parenting. We're eagerly awaiting Amy's arrival. She landed in the US 17 hours ago, but she was too tired to drive home... At least that gave me a last night to vacuum the filthy rugs.

July 4:
The prodigal mother has returned.

July 5:
Day 1 of joint parenting. It is such a pleasure to be able to tag out when I need to. Of course there's plenty to do because we leave tomorrow for 2 weeks in the woods, but now I can leave home while the kids sleep!
Thanks to all of you who offered encouragement during my 2 weeks alone. It was nice to reconnect. Not the first time I've flown solo like this but it's the first time I shared it on FB. Let's do this again sometime.

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