Wednesday, June 18, 2014

On being a single parent (and an accidental a$$hole)...

I've been an a$$hole lately.  But mostly by accident.  I'm not sure if that makes it any better, but there you go.

Incidents of accidental a$$hole-ism have been mostly contained to the office:

  1. I announced in front of a speaker and room full of participants that people interested in coming to the next program should come early because "next month's speaker is a real draw".
  2. In my excitement over hosting a New York Time's Best Selling author, I told a local writer I work with from time to time that I was thrilled to have an opportunity to work with "a whole new caliber of author". 
  3. While hosting said NYT author, I completely geeked out and told him how his father's book (not his) changed my life.


To be fair, I didn't mean to be an a$$hole.

(Although, I'm not sure that makes a difference.)

For the record:

Incident #1...was meant to be a general FYI for participants who insist on calling every month to reserve a table at a free lecture series.  We have limited tables.  If you want a table, the only way to guarantee one is to come early because ALL of these lectures are very popular (not just next month's).  Of course, it didn't come out that way.

Incident #2...wasn't meant maliciously, and it was said to someone who has worked with the museum for longer than I have (i.e. more than a decade).  She's witnessed the organization's ups and downs, and my struggles to put together programs that will draw a crowd.  She - in her own right - is a writer of local business history.  She does a fabulous job, and I meant no slight whatsoever.  If it were up to me, more books about local business history would be on the NY Times Best Sellers List.  And I mean that sincerely because I am a complete nerd.

Incident #3...I'm not even kidding when I say that the father of the NY Times Best Selling author changed my life.  I had to read his book when I was in high school.  I didn't even like history back then, but had this awesome history teacher who assigned it to the class and made the subject both relevant and interesting.  Technically, the book itself was historical fiction, but the good kind of historical fiction (i.e. the kind that wins Pulitzers).  I think it was the first time the "story" was put back into "history" for me, and I realized the subject was waaaaaay more than boring dates, battles and dead guys.  It is totally cliché, but it was an a-ha moment for me.  Which has to mean something because I have worked in the field for ten years (in September) and have my masters in the dang subject.

Anyway, the Pulitzer Prize winning author passed away in the 1980s, and his son is now continuing his father's work (and doing it fabulously because...well, the whole NY Times thing).  The son is also the first to tell you that he wouldn't be doing what he does today without his father.  Plus, he signed a copy of his latest book for me to send to that awesome high school history teacher of mine, so I think I've been forgiven.

(Fingers crossed!)

Really, most of the incidents of accidental a$$hole-ism could be best described using a photo of me with my foot in my mouth.  Because I have a tendency to not think when I'm excited about something and/or engaged in some form of public speaking.  And...well, let's face it, I'm an idiot on the best of days.

Which leads me to latest reason I'm a complete accidental a$$hole.

Earlier this month, Trevor went on an eight day trip to Canada while I stayed home and took care of Banner, the dogs and our lives in general.  Apparently, many people thought I would have a hard time with the whole single parent thing, but I wasn't one of them.  Which - in hindsight - kind of cracks me up.  After all, it doesn't seem like all that long ago that I made my mom come stay with me while Trevor partied in Vegas with my now brother-in-law.  But I guess, nearly 2.5 years of parenting has my confidence up.  I'm not perfect, by any means.  But we've got Banner on a schedule, and I had about a week's worth of Dateline specials saved up on the DVR.  The idea of eight days home alone with three dogs and a kiddo just wasn't as daunting as it once was.  In fact, it was pretty relaxing.  I'd get Banner in bed and then pile up in bed by 8:30 and watch Lester Holt narrate yet another "who done it" mystery.

(OMG, I never realized how lame that sounded until I put it in writing and read it.)

Still, upon his return, I think Trevor assumed I'd be all exhausted and worn out.  Like maybe I would hand him Banner, and go lock myself in the bedroom for the rest of the afternoon to take a nap.  But it wasn't like that at all.  So, he asked, "Was it hard at all?  You know...without me here to help with Banner?"

Me:  "No.  Not really."

Trevor:  "Why not?"

Me:  "I don't know.  I guess I realized I do a lot of the stuff by myself already, so it really wasn't all that different than normal."


I know:  OUCH!  But - HONESTLY - I didn't mean it to sound like I do everything and...well, b*tchy.  Promise.

I missed Trevor.  Banner missed Trevor.  The dogs missed Trevor.  OF COURSE we ALL missed Trevor.  We love Trevor.  He is our guy.  But - when it comes down to the daily nitty gritty - I really DO the lion's share of the work at home.  I feed, bathe/groom and pick up after the dogs.  I do the laundry.  I take out the trash.  I water the plants, fill up the fountain and replenish the birdfeeders.  I'm in charge of paying the bills.  I almost always take Banner to school and pick him up.  I do the bulk of tidying up around the house.  I make the beds.  I bathe Banner and put him to sleep at night.

BUT that is not to say that Trevor doesn't do anything.  Au Contraire!

He is the cook and the main reason I existed on popcorn and cereal in is absence (Banner ate better, no worries.  I was just too tired to care about me after he was down for the count each night).  And Trevor always assists with the bedtime routine when he is home.  In fact, he's usually the one to read Banner his bedtime story, while I feed the dogs and clean up after Banner in the kitchen.  I've always kind of thought of it as their "guy time".

Plus, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't exhausting not having that extra fatherly pair of hands, eyes, etc. to help out with the little tyke - especially on the weekends.  And doing certain things - like going to the gym or for a quick run - were definitely not going to happen while Trevor was away.  I think those were the times I missed Trev the most.  Because, let's face it, every now and again it is nice to have five minutes to yourself.  Especially in the bathroom.  With Trevor gone, I had a pint sized chaperone every single time I needed to pee between 7 AM and 8 PM.

(Note:  I generally have a pint sized chaperone when I have to pee even when Trevor IS around.  Because peeing is a BIG deal when you are two and interested in all things potty and flushing.  It is just that every so often, if I am suuuuuper quiet about it, I can sneak to the potty without anyone noticing if Trev is home.  Soooooo not the case when he is away.  Because, OMG!  Where IS mommy?!)

So, yes.  I missed Trevor.  But was eight days without him horrible?  No.  Not at all.  It was mostly business as usual, except I had unlimited control of the remote control and the WHOLE bed to myself for a change.  Which?...SO AWESOME.

Hi, babe!  Love you and glad you are home, okay?
P.S.  Sorry for being an a$$hole.  Again.

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