Tuesday, July 23

THE DUMBEST SMART THING I'VE EVER DONE

It's really difficult (nigh impossible on some days) to be a single mom.  And I know I sound like a broken record in saying that.  And my life as a single mom comes and goes in cycles of good and bad days.

There are the very good days.  Those days are the absolute greatest-- the days where I wake up on time (because I probably went to bed the night before at a reasonable hour), shower and fix my hair in record time.  The days where I wake Sol up, dress her, and head out the door on time with all our things, and arrive to work on time.  So then I can leave work on time, pick Sol up and get home to prepare an easy-but-nutritious dinner at the appropriate hour.  So then we have time to play (and she actually wants to play with me) and she's so dang tuckered out by 8pm that I can give her a pleasant bath and lay her in her crib by 8:30, where she flips onto her belly, buries her face in the mattress, sticks her little caboose in the air, and I don't hear a sound from her until the next morning...

...And the next morning could be the onset of a bad day.  A terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day.

Those days are the worst -- the days where I sleep through my alarm and wake up 45 minutes late (often because I was up the night before until 12:30am doing laundry or making lunches), shower and fix my hair in a few minutes (and it shows).  The days where Sol is awake since I've been awake, and because I can't give her the proper attention and because I'm busting my rear to prepare for the day, she cries for about 30 minutes before I have a chance to dress her and head out the door 5 minutes late but usually forgetting something very important, all with the hope of arriving to work around 5-10 minutes late (but in reality it will be more around 15-20 minutes late).  So then I stay a little later at work, pick Sol up *just* before the daycare center closes, and we get home to a kitchen that offers no easy or nutritious dinners to whip up.  So I scrounge around and end up fixing her some oatmeal with peanut butter (for added protein, obviously) that she eats while I'm trying to unpack our bags from the day.

After that, there is little time to play (but it's okay because she can't stand the sight of me and nothing would displease her more than sitting on the floor and playing with momma, God forbid), so she backs herself into a corner and in her irritatingly-whiny voice says "nOOOooooo.  nnnoOOOOOooooo!!!" in response to my futile attempts to get her to play the xylophone.  So I sit there, breathing deeply, silently counting to ten as I clench my teeth and instruct her to "just. play. the xylophone. please. justplaywithsomething."  But no, she would rather throw herself on the ground, attacking the floor with her Sperry-clad feet, while driving a half-eaten orange crayon into the carpeting (which I just vacuumed the night before).  You would
Can you find the dental insurance card???
think the anti-xylophone tantrum would zap her energy, but you'd be wrong.  She's wide awake at 8pm.  So bathtime is a nightmare, and usually about halfway through the bath I find some foreign object (like my dental insurance card) floating in the tub alongside Nemo and Dory.  These things come as no surprise; they only add to the dramafest of the evening.

Surely you can imagine the struggle of drying, diapering, or dressing this freshly-bathed [and now wailing] creature.  So there I am, sporting 8 gallons of sweat in my hair, a soaked-and-partially-shredded shirt, and claw marks on my arm (because oh yes, she needs her razor-nails trimmed and that wasn't about to happen tonight).  So I muster up the most motherly love I can possibly muster, I sit on the couch with her, and pull out a bedtime book.  An hour later, I'm out on the patio with that same book in front of me -- but it's opened to the very last page and flattened out onto the surface of the table.  And my poor aching head is resting on the book as I try to drown out the "I-hate-you-mom" sobs from the nursery window above me.  Maybe I'll eat around 9pm, maybe 10pm.  Maybe.  But only after the bathroom has been mopped up, after lunches are made for tomorrow, after her sippy cups are washed and the orange crayon has been extracted from the carpeting. 

I drag my feet upstairs and lie in bed, still clothed in my sweat-soaked outfit from that evening, realizing that I've heard nothing but "nOOOooo.  nnnoOOOOOooooo!!!" since I left work.  I lie there and wonder how long you could go without adult interaction, how long you would have to listen to "nOOOoooo," before you go absolutely, horribly, bat-poop NUTS.  I usually wake up a few minutes later because I still have my shoes on from the day and let's face it: it's not right to sleep in your bed with my shoes on.  Somehow I fall asleep in the noisy silence, thanking God the day is finally over, longing for an adult to share my triumphs and frustrations with, scanning through mental lists of to-do's for the next day, and the next, and the day after that... Before I know it, the alarm is going off again.  It's a new day, and there's really no way to tell what sort of day it will be.

So obviously it makes sense, then, that I would take on yet another challenge... right?
Kindly reference the photos below.

A sunny afternoon in June, lunch at the Green Well, my favorite restaurant in Grand Rapids.  Eating a vegan wrap and drinking a thematic CEO stout (Right Brain Brewery) in celebration of my recently-completed GMAT exam.  


Because yes, that's right, I'm going back to school in the fall.  Gonna get me an MBA.  And the university of my choice is even willing to let me attend.  Penny Bundy told me so :)


Not to be confused with Peggy Bundy.  Cuz that would just be weird.



But seriously, totes magotes, wish me luck.  Because I'm gonna need a whooooooole lot of it.  Single mom + working full-time + pursuing MBA = l-o-c-o.  Crazypants.


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