Me, Myself, and I…and the House and the Girl and the Dog

Josh has been away on a work trip, so I’ve been a single parent for the week. I admire anyone who can do this successfully on their own and know many who make it look easy. It’s not. The number of plates I had to spin this week saw a significant jump in numbers. Getting Virginia to school on time, walking the dog, dealing with trash day, keeping VA busy during a holiday and a snow day, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, shoveling snow, holding down a job—seriously, there are just not enough hours in the day when you’re doing it all on your own. But it’s been OK. I didn’t burn the house down, my dog didn’t starve or anything, but I did notice a few unexpected changes.

Our eating habits immediately changed. Josh is a three squares a day guy. And he likes a complete dinner with a main, side, and salad. Virginia is more ambivalent about complete meals, and you know what? With the pressure off, so was I. I haven’t quite gone back to the days when chips and salsa stepped in as a just-fine dinner, but if VA wanted 3 servings of matzo ball soup for dinner, another serving the next morning for breakfast and one more for lunch, and the last of it for after-school snack, I’m gonna say “sure, why not?”

I could find no good reason to shave my legs. None. Josh is away and it’s February in Pennsylvania.

I’m not on light patrol all day long. Josh tends to leave the lights on during the day and sometimes at night. He just doesn’t notice and forgets—it’s a quirk. And it’s not a big deal—to him—but I do find myself roaming around the house periodically during the day turning lights off. This week, it’s simple: the lights are off during the day and after we go to bed at night. No roaming. Josh tells me I have my own personality quirks too. Apparently I load the dishwasher totally wrong. But you know what? I’ve been loading it just the way I like all week.

The three of us left behind are certainly cozy around here. I think with Josh away for the week, Virginia and I, and even Jazz, too, can feel the emptiness in the house acutely, so we stay close. None of us want more alone time. I find I’m more eager for her to return from school, so I can make her a snack and hear all about her day. I happily help her with her homework and she lets me. The best way to watch TV/read/do homework? It’s when VA, the dog, and I are all piled on the couch. That goes for sleeping too—best way to sleep is when VA, Jazzy, and I are all snug in the bed.

Although I feel good about how the week went and thankful disaster didn’t strike as an unfortunate result of my neglect, I’m anxious for Josh to return. He brings balance to our little household, and frankly, my legs could use a shave.

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