I have to admit, this single parent thing kicked my ass today.
It’s not that I’m one of those clueless fathers that the media foists on us at every turn. I actually can cook and keep a schedule and get Anna to and from everything that she needs to. We do have a minor conflict tomorrow in that her orchestra rehearsal and chiro appointment are scheduled for the same time. Fortunately, the chiro is very flexible with appointment times so that’s not a big deal. I did have to deal with a “sick” child this morning. We were up at the crack of dawn because we had to go and pick up a friend of hers whose mother just had a baby so other parents are taking turns taking her daughter to school since they have to be at orchestra practice at 7:45AM. Well, I had to practically set off a nuclear explosion to get Anna out of bed this morning and then, no sooner was she downstairs she was complaining of a really sore throat and a stuffed up nose. I could tell from the minute she started that she was angling to stay home. I pushed back a little bit, telling her to eat breakfast and see if she felt better. She didn’t really. I mean, it was kind of a bullshit stalling tactic that I took so it’s not surprising that nothing really happened. We did this fine dance of negotiating and what she ended up doing was staying home and resting for the morning, the trade-off being that she would go in at lunch so she didn’t miss her violin lesson (the concert’s only a couple weeks off.) Once I relented, she started trying to finagle that playing her horse game on her computer was resting and frankly, I was too tired to argue. I went and picked up her friend and delivered her to school and then talked Anna into coming down and laying down on the couch while we finished up The Black Stallion on Netflix.
Part way through the movie, I knew that I had been played the fool. I don’t doubt that she didn’t feel well, but I think that had I pushed a little harder, she would have gone to school and been fine. But honestly? I didn’t have the energy to fight the 10 year-old. Sometimes the path of least resistance really is the best way to go. I don’t think she did it intentionally either – it’s really not her style to lie about how she’s feeling in order to stay home – but Lord knows that I played the system from time to time when I was in school. By the time I got to high school, my parents had introduced the concept of a “mental health day” which was nice. We call those “flop days” around here and sometimes, you just need one.
We went to piano lessons tonight and then, by the time we got back, it was time to start thinking about what to fix for dinner. I caved and we went to Subway. It was SO much easier than trying to cook and my poor brain was just fried. And that’s just it – I can’t figure out why my brain is so fried. It just IS. Of course, Anna being home this morning screwed up the entire day from a what-I-had-planned standpoint, but even when I finally got her to school, I didn’t get much of anything done today. I tried to go out and mow the yard since it’s supposed to rain for the next 5 days, but the damn mower wouldn’t start so who the hell knows. I didn’t really want to mow anyway.
Even though I was tired and frazzled, I was remarkably engaged with Anna tonight. Usually on nights like this, I just want to zone out in a book or at the computer. What we ended up doing was playing a crapload of Lego Star Wars on the Wii. We have won almost all of that game, but we like to go back and replay the missions in Free Play mode, which allows you to pick the characters. With this, you can have a Sandperson on the Death Star or Darth Maul in Jabba’s palace and no one cares. So that’s kind of fun. It was all about comedy tonight as I ran around trying to collect the coins yelling “MONEY!” in a falsetto voice while she descended into fits of laughter. Once bedtime rolled around I managed to get her to hit the staircase after only 50 times asking her and then we read a couple chapters of The Black Stallion Returns.
I guess that one bit of excitement did occur today in that my vinyl copy of MDNA arrived. It is, as I expected, gorgeous.
I’ve already listened to it once on vinyl, and even though it’s the same damn songs that I’ve heard coming from my iPod and computer for a few weeks now, this just seemed very very right.
With that, I’m calling today a wash and starting again tomorrow. Hopefully I have more successes tomorrow than I did today.