I’m not talking the big stuff of single parenting, co-parenting, anything of that sort. I’m not talking money, emotions, dating, responsibilities, decision-making, any of that. I’m talking about something actually quite simple.
How do you handle it when your kid is sick in the middle of the night?
My cub had a bug last weekend, and seemed to have fought it off. Or so we thought. Until just about midnight last night when my wife heard him making weird noises in his bedroom, checked on him, and he’d thrown up on the big comforter, his sheets, his bedspread, his pillows, himself. So she yelled for me to come help, and we divided up duties like we always do when this happens.
One of us is on hair holding duties, comforting, rocking, keeping him warm and sanitary, while the other is on clean-up duty. I did clean-up last night, stripping beds, getting chunks out of various clothes and sheets, getting the FIRST load in the washing machine and dryer. All while Andrea kept him calm and comforted. Probably a half-hour for each of us. Fast forward 90 minutes, and a suprise round 5 was underway, this time with a mess in the guest room rather than his bed which had no sheets. Another 20-30 minutes of comforting and cleanup, each.
Sometimes she’s doing the cleaning, sometimes it’s me, but either way, we aren’t trying to do the comforting while the mess continues to soak in elsewhere. We can get to it, and deal with it properly.
If we were single, we couldn’t. I’ve always known I would not make a good single parent even on the best of days; most of the time I’m not even sure I qualify as a decent co-parent since Andrea handles a lot of the daily load. Maybe parental assistant. But on the simple bad days, I’m not sure how anyone handles it alone.
I’m grateful to my wife that I don’t have to find out.