August 18, 2009

Doing It Alone

Some of my blogging friends post every now and then about their husbands being gone for days at a time for work. I have always wondered what would happen if I were in charge of my daughters for several days with no other help. I don't need to wonder any longer.
Due to a death in the family, Hubby has been out of town since Sunday. Logistically it just wouldn't work to take four toddlers on the whirlwind trip (a 12 hour drive Sunday, the funeral Monday, and a 12 hour drive home today). So I braced myself for a few long days.
Sunday went much better than I imagined. We busied ourselves in the morning with bubbles in the backyard. In the afternoon we watched Snow White. By bed time all five of us were exhausted. Monday was a day full of preschool preparations. In the morning we met the teacher and visited the classroom. After lunch we went shopping for school supplies (note to teachers: please do not wait until a week before school starts to distribute your supply list. It was slim pickin's at Target). Today we will hopefully go to the pool and simply bide our time until Hubby returns.
It's the nights that were the worst. Every little sound spooked me. I was concerned about what would happen if there were an emergency in the middle of the night and I was the only adult around. I know, I know. I sound like a wuss. I live in a "nice" neighborhood, but I think I have reasons to be a tad paranoid. In the two years we have lived in this house our front window and a garage window have been shot out with a BB gun (the unknown culprit still owes us $500 so we can fix the huge picture window), we have found used syringes in one of our window wells, and people some times ring our door bell after dark looking for the renters down the street who must not work and are always throwing a party. I did mention it's a "nice" neighborhood, right? So each night I braced myself for one of two noises... either the shrieking of our home security system or the cries of Tortilla who went diaper free while Hubby was gone. I'm happy to say neither of those sounds were heard.
Fortunately, we have recently become friendly with the couple who live directly behind us. They are smitten with the girls and just a fun couple to hang with. The male half is a former firefighter and paramedic, so I knew if a medical emergency arose I could call on him.
I think everyone expected me to be pulling my hair by now. My daughters can definitely have their meltdowns. I was pleasantly surprised by their behavior during the past few days. Now if Hubby can just arrive home safely, I can rest easy.

14 comments:

LauraC said...

I never find the day times to be that bad. It's all the unexpected stuff, like someone waking up throwing up, where you know you don't have backup. For me, the worst was when Nate woke up with a 105 fever. I didn't even call Jon until I had talked to the doctors, called a friend in case I needed to go to the ER, and gotten Nate's fever under control. You just do what you need to do.

MaryAnne said...

I'm glad things have gone all right. The hard times at our house are dinnertime (when they remember Daddy isn't coming home) and bedtime (when they want him to put them to bed). Thankfully they usually calm down after talking to him on the phone. Mysteriously, the house is ALWAYS cleaner when DH is out of town - even though he helps clean when he is home.

Quadmama said...

I was convinced both nights that one of them would wake up throwing up and I would be the only one there to do baths and laundry and get all four back to sleep.

Quadmama said...

Bedtime last night was rough on the girls. I called Hubby and he talked to each of them for a few minutes, which helped.

Stephanie B said...

I always have a hard time when Lee is gone. I'll be honest, I'm really spoiled because if one of us is AOL, it's usually me. I work (he's a stay-at-home dad) and, if one of us is traveling, it's almost undoubtedly me. I know those trips are hard on him (and try to keep them to a minimum), but I often don't appreciate how hard it can be for him.

We don't have four small ones, just two, and we have a teenager who can be useful. Still, I appreciate your trepidation.

Lani said...

Good job doing it all by yourself!

Quadmama said...

I know to an extent I sound like a whiner since their are single parents who do this every day... but it will be so nice to have Hubby back and have a chance to breathe again.

Roman and Tiffany said...

I am so sorry about the death in the family. I'm glad you are hanging in there!

Quadmama said...

I thought about calling you guys for reinforcement! Just kidding!

Stephanie Manner Wagner said...

I'll never forgot the business trips my hubby had to take when the twins were mere weeks old. Oh what very long days and nights those were.

It's never fun, lock your self in the bath and soak in the tub for a couple hours when he returns.

Quadmama said...

OMG.... I would have freaked if I were left home alone at any point in the first year. When Hubby had to leave for a week for a job interview my daughters were about 11 months old. My dad and stepmom graciously came to stay with me that entire week. But, yes, a nice soak in the bath is in my future tonight!

SLColman said...

So happy to hear that you got through the home alone so well :) You are remarkable!

Brooke said...

I know how you feel about the things that go bump in the night. My DH is out of town right now. Funny, I lived alone for years and it never bothered me, but there's something about being responsible for these other tiny humans that makes it that much harder. Hang in there!

Quadmama said...

I slept so much better last night with Hubby home. Brooke, yeah, it's strange... I lived alone for years with no problem, but the thought of trying to grab 4 little ones by myself in the middle of the night if an emergency comes up simply terrified me.

Post a Comment