Early on Sunday morning, Mrs. Cutter left for a business conference in Las Vegas. She would be away through Wednesday which meant that for four days, I would be the only thing standing between the Cutlet and utter chaos.
Well, maybe not the only thing. The good people at her daycare actually did quite a bit. But still, I would have to experience a brief life as a single parent, and I wasn’t sure that either the Cutlet or I would make it through the ordeal unscathed.
Making the task more difficult was the time change brought on by daylight savings time ending. For most people, this is a wonderful thing. We get an extra hour of sleep! Hooray!
On a side note, I’ve noticed traffic in the evening to be worse than usual this week. It seems like people aren’t used to their evening commutes to be in the dark, and they aren’t sure exactly how to handle it. Hopefully this passes soon.
Anyway, for parents, the “falling back” experience is not quite as great. Toddlers don’t grasp the whole time shifting premise. They are used to going to bed, waking up, and getting fed at specific times. And they don’t necessarily react well when these things happen an hour later than they used to.
Forunately, the Cutlet had been sleeping past 8 AM, so even if she stayed on her prior schedule, she wouldn’t be waking up horrendously early. And in a way, the new schedule works out well for me, because on weekday mornings we have either had to wake her up, or go into work late. Neither of which we particularly wanted to do on a regular basis.
I figured that Sunday would be the toughest day for me. While I could take her into daycare during the week, on Sunday it would be just the two of us.
But as it turned out, we had quite a nice day together. Between shopping trips, naptime, and a visit to the playground, the time passed rather quickly.
While I’m not normally a fan of the Eagles playing night games, it was a bit helpful that the Eagles played on Monday night. I’m not sure the Cutlet would have allowed me to sit around and watch the game on Sunday afternoon. NFL games don’t seem to hold her attention the same way Yo Gabba Gabba does.
Unfortunately, by the end of the day, the time shift started to take its toll on her. She became extremely fussy when I tried to put her back in the car after going to the playground, and she didn’t have much patience as I prepared dinner.
But these were just minor problems that a snack, dinner, and an earlier than usual bedtime were able to fix. All in all, our day together went about as well as I could have hoped.
I knew that Monday morning would be a bit hectic, so I made sure to wake up before she did so that I could get myself ready and then attend to her. This wasn’t that much of a problem for me, as apparently my internal body clock wasn’t allowing me to sleep much past 7.
We both went about our normal weekday routine. She went to daycare, I went to work. Dinner and bedtime went smoothly enough, and in theory, once she was asleep I would be able to sit back and watch the Eagles game in peace.
Except that we had our cleaning service coming to clean our condo on Tuesday, and I had to get the place straightened up for them. You’d be surprised at what a mess one toddler can make in just a couple of days. (Although to be honest, most of the mess was really made by her parents. We’re not especially neat people.) So I spent most of the game’s commercial breaks trying to get the condo ready to be cleaned.
Yes, I realize that it does seem a bit foolish to have to clean up in order to have the house cleaned, but that’s the way these things go. And in a way, it was a nice distraction from the display of sucktitude that the Eagles were displaying.
Because I have trouble sleeping after watching my sports teams play at night, I was up late and didn’t get an especially good night’s sleep. I didn’t think it would be too much of an issue as I was scheduled to work from home on Tuesday. So in theory, my day would be a little more relaxing than a typical day at the office.
But sadly, my would-be relaxing day turned quite stressful as a work issue arose that required me to not only go into the office, but kept me there later than usual.
As a result, I then had to rush to get to daycare before they closed. Falling behind the Cutlet’s usual schedule meant that the rest of the evening was a blur of activity. Dinner, bath time, the evening bottle, diaper changes were all done in quick fashion. By the time it was all done and the Cutlet was in her crib, I was quite exhausted.
I woke up on Wednesday relieved that Mrs. Cutter was coming home that night. And I think the Cutlet was a bit relieved too. Or maybe she just missed her mother. Either way, right before I put her to bed, I told her that when she woke up the morning, Mommy would be there to greet her. I don’t know if she understood me, but it certainly made me feel better.
For her part, the Cutlet was very good while I was alone with her. I had these horrible visions of her getting sick or having a complete meltdown, and having to deal with a screaming banshee for three days. But instead, she remained healthy and was quite well behaved.
I give props to all the single parents out there. I only had to do the job for four days, and I feel wiped out by it. It felt like I was constantly rushing just to stay on top of things. I don’t know how single parents do this full-time.
But now, Mrs. Cutter is back, and we can once again share in the parenting duties. Except for tonight. Tonight I’m going out to play kickball and go drinking. I feel I deserve it.