One Long Night


When the kids were younger and my spouse used to travel for business, we developed numerous coping strategies to make his absence easier on everyone. Generally, this entailed a relaxation of mealtime and bedtime routines. Once, our eldest wrote a list of “Single Parent Rules,” which included gems such as “there’s no such thing as too much TV” and “caffeine is a food group (for the parent),” and she displayed them on the refrigerator for him to review upon his return.

Time softens my memory of the challenges I faced caring for three small humans alone, while the cook, dishwasher and superior reader of stories at bedtime was gone. I’d nearly forgotten that almost every time he traveled, one of the kids would get sick. Often this involved a stomach flu or some other virus; an ear infection or sudden, barking cough occasioned a visit to the pediatrician, followed by a trip to the pharmacy. Sometimes, those awful times when “Mom Immunity” failed, my spouse would return to a full house of cranky, exhausted sick people.

This week brought my memory into sharper focus. Not because the kids were any trouble; the youngest is now old enough to take on the task of preparing dinner every night. The eldest is away at college.

This time it’s the canine child who demands all my attention while the leader of the pack is gone. Her symptoms appear after the Vet’s office is closed for the night, of course. As I hide a small pill in peanut butter and desperately attempt to fit the no-bite collar around her neck while she wriggles from my grasp, I remember the rules that no longer hang on the refrigerator door.

Curling up on the couch for a long night of telling her to “leave it,” I consider how fortunate I am to still have the energy to take care of everyone at home while my partner in parenting travels, how relieved I am that Luna’s ailment is not contagious to humans and how happy I am the Top Dog is only away for one night.

luna in collar again



Comments (6)

Poor Mom and poor Luna. (Is that the no bite collar around her neck?) Hopefully all is better in the light of day.

Improving every day…I’m pretty tired, though. She didn’t give me much room on the couch.

Shabbat is less than 24 hours away. And I believe the cook is now home, hopefully to stay. Luna healthier everyday! You easing back into life your way!
Dr Seuss signing of….

Fabulous! You are rhyming all the time-ing. Shabbat shalom!

Poor dog. At first I thought she had an ankle weight around her neck and then I realized it was one of those new cone alternatives. Your post reminds me of those ultra busy days when you wonder how you will get through and I almost miss a house full of kids, even sick ones.

Tonia, I know someday (not too far off) I’ll miss the noisy, messy, hectic home life. For now, it’s exhilarating and exhausting to be in the thick of taking care of everyone…hope all’s well with you!

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