So, I have officially been a single mother for 8 days now. Ok, maybe thats an exaggeration, I'll explain. Tyson has been gone in the evenings at a class (I may post more on later) that goes from 6-10pm, M-F. It only lasts 2 weeks, and it ends this Friday.
If you know me, you know that I don't do well alone. I crave companionship in every moment of my day. I think it makes me a great candidate for having this little daycare project in this chapter of my life... there is always someone that needs me and I essentially always have 'company.' Granted, the KIND of company the little darlings can be is a challenge and over all exhausting, but over all its nice to never have to be alone (sad, but true).
I have been dreading these last 2 weeks since the moment I saw it on the radar. But as they approached, I actually started to rethink the scenario. I thought I'd put the kids to bed, clean the kitchen until it sparkled every night... do some closet/garage organizing, take some baths, paint my toes, watch some Tivod Oprah episodes that have been stored since 1986...
Any of the above has yet to happen.
My days are the usual organized chaos that I am more than accustomed to... no surprises there.
But I didn't count on Tyson's absence taking such a dramatic toll on our children, and by extension... me.
Dawson has been having the most difficult time functioning. He has the capacity to be a handful on any given day and always has, but this has been excessive. He is a train wreck. He acts out at every opportunity. Sometimes he creates an opportunity if one is not presenting itself. He has regressed back to baby talking, taking toys... hitting his sister, disobedience, fibbing, destructive behavior. Bedtimes are impossible, so he's exhausted the next day which fuels the flame. With the exception of the baby talk, these are all obstacles that have presented themselves in the past that we've worked hard to overcome thru consistent discipline and positive reinforcement. Dawson has always kept me on my toes trying to find loving but effective ways to teach him to do the right thing without crushing his naturally adventurous spirit.
Now I realize that without his Dad in the picture, this would be nearly (if not completely) impossible.
Dawson worships Ty. He loves me too, I know that. But Tyson reaches him in a place I can never seem to find. And he makes it look easy.
Im secretly a little bit jealous. Tyson has magical parenting abilities I will never posses. And our son, at 3.5 years recognizes the difference his Daddy makes in the quality of his little life. And he is upset and frustrated and lost without it. It baffles me!
I can remember being skeptical in my pre-parenting days when a person would make excuses for unacceptable behavior citing some sort of variation in scheduling or ordinary routine. I am skeptical no more. My kid THRIVES on routine, particularly that involving the important people in his world.
So. Without rambling on and on about for instances of all the parenting hell I've been to this week, I will just say that I have a renewed appreciation for the role my husband plays as a Father, and the difference it makes in the quality of the majority of the day I spend with them. I've come to realize that its easy to feel undervalued sometimes for all my seemingly thankless contributions, but these last weeks have shown me my own hypocrisy. The short time in an average day that Tyson spends with our children makes a big difference in my life. And all the difference in the world to his biggest fans.
Friday never looked this good.