Saturday, October 16, 2004

Single Parenting

Jen’s away in New Orleans for four nights of music and debauchery, so I’m racking up good spouse points by doing the single parent thing until she’s back. It’s not so hard, really; all you’ve got to do is give up any expectation whatsoever of getting some work done or having a moment to yourself. Sure, you can steal a half hour here and there, as I am now, but just until the video runs out or the cartoon’s over and you’re back on call.

If I were a fulltime single parent I’d probably have a substance abuse problem or at the very least, satellite television with 300 channels of animation. My respect for parents who do this day in and day out has no bounds; it’s amazing to me that kids can grow up sane and healthy living with just one adult; it’s even more amazing to me that adults can remain sane and healthy living alone with one or more kids.

Right now I’m being asked if we can make a mummy. Sure, why not, Halloween is coming and everything. Where I draw the line, though, is at mummifying the dog. Mimi has countered by suggesting we cover her favorite stuffed animal in duct tape. I’m trying to figure out how to convince her to use masking tape instead.

Mealtimes take on a surreal quality when there’s just the two of us. Last night for dinner she ate broccoli, Sugar Pops, and baby dill pickles. I substituted cold tofu for the cereal. We dined al video; that is, in front of the TV set. She wanted to watch Scooby Do: Monsters Unleashed; I was pushing for the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup; we compromised with Abbott and Costello Meet the Wolfman.

But such is the life of a single parent; it’s one negotiation after the next. Exhibit A: I’ve been permitted the time to write this blog; so now it’s time to mummify a teddy bear.