the highs, the lows

Mark’s been out of town for work and the first night actually went really well. I set Lily up with a Dora episode (love my DVR) and went to put Anya to bed. She was down and out in 20 minutes, giving me the confidence to think I rock. It started raining as I put Lily to bed and so I told her I’d sleep with her tonight, mostly to save me a midnight run through the rain in my night clothes but also to get her to shut up and let me go watch porn some very respectable television and knit. Both girls slept happily and quietly until just before six am and I did a ceremonial victory lap around the house in my slippers to celebrate my awesomeness as a single parent.

Then there was last night.

Anya just couldn’t settle. She’d fall asleep and then wake shortly afterwards causing Lily to shout at the top of her lungs, “MOM! ANYA IS HAVING A REALLY HARD TIME!” No kidding? At about 11pm I gave up and went to fetch Ani, nursing her while I finished watching the one hour television program I had started at 8pm. Then I took her downstairs to my room and flopped her onto Mark’s empty side of the bed. She noticed my cell phone and held her hand up to her ear, “Ooown? Pease?” I handed it over after locking it and continued brushing my teeth. Then I climbed into bed with her and tried to remove the phone. Bad Mommy! She howled a no at me and I chose not to fight it, watching as my glowing phone rested at the side of her face and sweet little “Allo?”s escaped her mouth. When the light would time out, she’d reflexively hit a button, making her face glow again, brightening her eyes and then allowing me to watch as her eyelids slid slowly closed. It went on like this until she finally passed out, the phone silently slipping off her face and into my hand.

Lily woke us both at 6am, demanding to know why I didn’t sleep with her and then bursting into tears when I barked at her to be quiet, a desperately misguided attept to grab more sleep for us all. Bad Mommy! This kinda set the tone for the rest of the morning, until I finally tossed everyone into the car and headed for a friends house. On the way over Lily asked me if I was still mad (no). “How ‘bout cranky? Are you cranky, Mom?” How could I be when she’s so effing cute?

Clearly, I’m not cut out to single parent. But hey, he’ll be flying all over the country this year, so I better figure it out! Any tips from single parents out there as to how you get through with no down time and cranky kids who miss Daddy?