This past week, Kris has been in Florida with her parents, helping out as her Dad recovers from back surgery. The kids and I are on our own, but only sort of.
Before she left, Kris made arrangements for a couple of play-dates, for after-school care, and for the kids to be with my parents on alternating days. So – that’s been a huge help. I can’t claim to have been "on my own" having had the benefit of so much help.
On the other hand, we’re having a great time together. I helped out on a field trip for Rachel’s class up to a nearby Reptile Zoo. The kids were great! They were pretty fascinated by the snakes, alligators, monitors, and geckos. There was even a two-headed turtle (weird!). Some of the kids were a bit nervous about handling the snakes, but warmed to it after a little bit. It was great to see them so engaged.
Other happenings … Rachel lost her first tooth the day after Kris left. She was pretty interested in keeping the tooth, and in finding out the tooth fairy’s name. The tooth fairy helpfully deposited the tooth in the family "memory box", and responded that Rachel was welcome to call her "Sunflower" (apropos, since the tooth fairy wrote all of this in a card with Van Gogh’s Two Cut Sunflowers painting on it). The card included both of these important bits of information in it.
I hear that the tooth fairy was pretty pleased about resolving these important issues so nicely, but then I don’t think she remembered that Rachel is still learning to read. I heard Rachel wake up, and rushed over to her room to say good morning. She’d already started tearing her room apart, looking for the envelope with the tooth (apparently unable to read the careful cursive writing that the tooth fairy employed to conceal the true nature of her poor penmanship. Once assured that the tooth was still with us, Rachel was okay.
Kayla qualified for her next belt test. She’d been close for a while, and was really happy. This necessitated a trip to a nearby Mediterranean place to celebrate over some great falafel and baba gonouj.
Over the course of the week, we fell into an evening routine that left time for Kayla to make her lunch for the next day and do some homework. Rachel and I made it through a good bit of Ruth Stiles Gannet’s My Father’s Dragon series, a sweet fantasy series dating from the late 1940s. I read these with Kayla, and got a big kick out of rediscovering them with Rachel.
All in all, it was a really nice week. I had a nasty cold, which was a big drag, and was just barely able to stay on top of all of the other stuff that needs to get done (laundry, dishes, groceries). Unfortunately, Kris is coming home to a pretty empty cupboard. I guess one gets better at this with practice.
And I have no idea how bona-fide single parents do this. I’ve had it so much easier.