Nolin, I have to say that you are lucky that you are not just relying on me as a single parent to take care of you. And I am also very lucky that I don’t have to count on me as a single working parent.
It started when Teresa’s spring break vacation got extended due to a little problem with Southwest Airlines. I don’t see why the top of the plane ripping off should cause them to cancel several flights, but none-the-less, they went with the safety first approach over any concerns for our daycare needs. Therefore we had to find someone to watch Nolin on Monday while Jenn & I went to work.
Our friend Kelly stepped up to the plate and took great care of Nolin, but I quickly learned the careful orchestration that goes into working parents having to get their kids ready for day care and get to work. I think we take for granted exactly how good we have it.
It started as I had to wake Nolin up in the morning to head over to Kelly’s house. He wasn’t too happy about being woken up, but he got over it pretty quickly. As I rushed around like a chicken with its head cut off, dropping things in the street and running back and forth, Nolin just kept talking/singing. I think he was just letting me know all of the things that I was forgetting to do. Luckily I did have the sense to buckle Nolin in, score one in the good parenting department for me.
I dropped Nolin off with Kelly ran through a quick list of things to do and headed to work. I was only 30 minutes late. Kelly had an appointment in the afternoon, which worked out perfectly because after a conference call I would pick up Nolin and take him to the doctor to get some medicine for his cold. One problem…Jenn had my wallet in her purse which meant at lunch I had to run across town and pick it up. With an extra hour out of my day, we got that taken care of.
When I got to the doctor’s office we didn’t have to wait too long to go back and see the doctor. It was nothing serious, just a cold and she gave us some low dose medicine to use for the next 3 days. When the poor doctor went to check his ears, Nolin quickly turned into Linda Blair from The Exorcist. He freaked out, and didn’t stop screaming until we left the room. It’s really hard to look like a good father when you can’t even quiet your son down.
With slightly frayed nerves we got back in the car, Nolin had a bottle and I made my way to the drugstore to pick up his prescription. When I got there Nolin was dead asleep. Now the dilema…do I wake Nolin up to get the prescription, leave him asleep in the car and make the 6 o’clock news, or do I just count this as a wasted trip and come back later? I decided to just come back once he woke up.
We got home and I let Nolin continue sleeping, but then realized I couldn’t leave while he was sleeping to walk the dog. Poor Pancake’s eyes were floating at this point and there was nothing I could do. Finally Nolin woke up, we went for a quick walk and then jumped back in the car to the pharmacist and then to the store to pick up stuff to make Jenn & her mom for dinner.
I got home and needed to quickly start dinner. I realized at this point though that Nolin had not eaten much solid food during the day and he was starving (and therefore not too happy). So I pulled his high chair over towards the oven and with one hand I was feeding him and the other hand I was preparing dinner.
My back started hurting from the back and forth and I just wished that someone had been filming the situation because I know it would have been a pretty comical scene. At one point I had baby food all over me in addition to chicken marinade, the TV was blaring but the remote control was not within arms reach, and Pancake was barking to be fed too. Luckily as I was about to just sit down and quit, Jenn and her mom walked in the front door and everything was easier.
For any parents out there who are single working parents, or even just have to be a single parent a lot because your spouse travels for work…you have my full respect! I barely lasted 12 hours and I can’t imagine always having to be on point like that and still keeping your sanity. Hats off to you all!
Hey Pat – this is great! What a beautiful fam..gotta be some fun times in the O’Brien house:)
Thanks Daniel! It has been a pretty wild and great ride so far in the O’Brien house!