Life of a Single Father

Posted in Family with tags travel , childcare , mireille , quinton -

It’s 9:44 PM on Thursday evening. I’ve finally settled down to my computer and a bomber of my local’s double IPA. It’s the first time today that I’ve been able to sit without somebody demanding something or me having to be preparing something for somebody. You see, Jenny has been traveling for work since Monday morning, leaving me, a single father of three.

I’ve been a single father in the past. There’s something much more complicated about being a single father now-a-days, however. Not only is it three kids, which even though we’ve added only one child, the apparent number of children seems to have risen exponentially. No, it’s not just the third child, but the fact that the third child is a three year old black girl! Let me explain.

Jenny left on Monday morning. Mireille and I dropped her off at the airport in the morning, then drove to the doctor’s office to pickup some paperwork so she could go to preschool for the first time! Honestly, the only way I was going to be able to pull this off was to get Mireille in the care of somebody else for at least a couple of these days! Jenny was good enough to secure a nice daycare in the neighborhood that had the right mix of kids and proximity to the house, and mainly, had availability. So the plan was to get her there for Tuesday and Wednesday and then I would stay home on Monday and Thursday…

Monday went off pretty well. The single dad thing was no problem at all. I picked Quin up from camp, we had supper, Mireille went to bed at 7:45 because I successfully denied her a nap during the day, and I was able to even get a run in on the treadmill before putting Quin to bed and finally settling down for the season finale of Daredevil season 2 and viewing the penultimate Game of Thrones for this season. All in all, it was a pretty good day.

Tuesday morning, I got up at 5:30 so I could get myself ready and then ready the various things I would need to get the kids ready before going to school and to camp. At 6:30, Mireille woke up, and I was ready. I woke Quin up, got her dressed, then went downstairs, made breakfast (eggs and sausage) and did Mireille’s hair. Doing Mireille’s hair is one of the reasons that it is so difficult having a three year old black girl living in the house! It is difficult! Luckily I was able to reuse Jenny’s work from Monday and just slightly re-do it to make it look decent.

By 7:15 we were off to school, camp, and work! Here’s a picture of Mireille before going to her first day of school.

Mireille's first day of Preschool

I was a little nervous about sending Mireille to prescool. It’s always hard to drop a child off the first day, and this was no different. Luckily I am a seasoned veteran of having dropped off two children to their first day of daycare already, and this center was pretty no nonsense, saying things like, “It will seem hard, but they will be fine. Just go.” No problem - Quinton and I dropped her off while she cried, then before we even got out the door, she was done crying.

Daycare has changed a bit since we sent Quinton to school. Now a days, they have their own social network. I get e-mail updates several times a day with pictures and updates on how she’s doing. I got this picture about 3 hours after I dropped her off.

Mireille at School

After cramming 8 hours of work into 7 hours, I sped back to camp to pickup Quin, then back to pickup Mireille. She had a great day (so did Quin if you are interested). Once we got home, though, they were both ravenously hungry. I had to feed Mireille 2 “Fooky Nackas”, 2 bananas, and a hotdog. Quinton ate a pop tart and some crackers. After about 30 minutes of “down time” we headed out to track practice for Quinton. Ethan came along…

After track practice we got a quick bite to eat at Sonic, then hustled home by 7:45, just in time to get Mireille ready for bed and to wrestle her into sleepyville. I thought it might be a good night, but it was not. Since she had a “Long Nap” at preschool, it took until after 8:30 to get her to bed. I went downstairs to take care of the dishes and pack Quinton’s lunch for the next day but was greeted with this site on arrival downstairs.

Looks like Brewopoly tonight!

Quinton has developed quite an affinity to board games at camp. So every night, any time we have an “extra” 30 minutes, we play Monopoly, or in this case, Brewopoly. We’ve played the last three nights. Tonight he finally put me out of my misery. He ended up controlling the corner next to the “Go to Jail” space and building a bunch of “Kegs” on it. I lucked over the area for two and a half nights before my luck finally ran out and I managed to owe him over $1500 in rent on the same turn…

Wednesday was about the same, actually, except this time there was no problem dropping Mireille off at school. She was excited to go, and once I got her in the door, she told me to leave! They had a water day, and I got the following pictures from the school.

Mireille at school

Water day at Preschool

Note the hair. Today I opted to do the “free style” hair do. It’s the easiest style to do if you only need it to look good for the day… I’ll get better.

Wednesday was very much like Tuesday. All the way down to Track practice, except this time Ethan didn’t come with us, and we didn’t go to Sonic afterwards. When we got home at 7:20 this time, however, we met a couple of neighbors and talked to them for awhile, so it was 7:40 before we got inside and even started thinking about supper!!! Needless to say, Mireille didn’t get to bed until almost 9:00 on Wednesday, but Quinton still managed to find 20 minutes for us to play Brewopoly! After getting him to bed, I got dishes done and Quinton’s lunch packed, then spent time with Ethan watching a dirty movie on Netflix. I tell you, it’s hard making sure you spend enough time with all three kids!!!

At last, Thursday came around!!! Jenny would be coming home tonight! We got a little bit later start since I didn’t get to bed until midnight the night before, and Mireille decided to come sleep with me at 5:00 AM, so we slept in until 7:00.

After waking Quinton up, getting Mireille dressed, and getting breakfast ready, I decided to get adventurous and try to do some puffs in Mireille’s hair. I think I did a decent job, actually! Here is the photographic evidence.

Dad's attempt at Puffs

Dad's attempt at Puffs

Today was going to be a home day, so we left a little later than normal. Quinton was going to go to a puppet show for his field trip today and he told me at the last minute that he might need some money. So we stopped on the way and I picked up a breakfast burrito for the three of us to share (I didn’t realize we would be sharing - I thought it was my burrito) on the way. When I got into the car with Quin’s money and the burrito, I noticed that I could see Quinton’s “manhood” outlined in his shorts. So I asked him - “Quinton, did you forget to wear underwear this morning?” He answered, “no.” So I rephrased - “Quinton, are you wearing underwear?” To which he answered, “No - I just didn’t feel like wearing them this morning. Why?” After telling him that I could see his “thunder” on his shorts, he immediately said to me, “Oh no. Dad, do you think people are going to think I have a truck now?” After I looked confused, he told me that Ethan had told him that men with big trucks typically are compensating for having small packages… Amazing where his mind is at. I had to tell him that he didn’t have to worry about anybody ever thinking he had a big truck! Lucky kid…

After dropping Quinton off, Mireille and I came back home. Today wasn’t quite as easy as Monday for some reason. Mireille was much more restless and needy today. Here’s a video of her demanding “Fruit Snacks” from me at some point in the morning.

For good measure, here is a video of Mireille on Monday night pretending that the hose head is a microphone…

Anyway, I kept my good spirits throughout most of it. Thursday was hard, but Jenny was going to come back that night and we could then commence battling these little demons with two people instead of one! Fate, it would seem, had other plans. Jenny called just before we went to pickup Quin from camp saying that they had canceled her flight into Denver because of weather. Looking outside, it was 90 degrees, sunny, with very mild winds… Hmm…

Since it was hot tonight, we decided to go see Finding Dory at the Movie Tavern. I thought it would be fun, and we had taken Mireille to a movie before and she did great! Not so much this time… About an hour into the movie, she got bored and started just yelling at all of us, punching Ethan, and being a general nuisance. So much for family movies for the time being, I suppose.

And that’s basically where we are right now. Jenny was supposed to be home. I was able to hold things together for 3+ days without her, but my mind had settled on that exact amount of time, and now things are basically going to hell!!! Dishes are piling up, toilets are plugged, Mireille just fell out of bed and was crying… Dogs and cats living together!

The last three plus days have been a blessing at some level. I’ve shown myself that, if I ignore my job, I can manage these three young humans myself. But what’s it’s show me more of is that I can’t imagine doing this full time as a single parent! How do those people do it!???! And Jenny bears a heavy load of these responsibilities, and for that I am grateful! Here’s hoping she actually makes it home in the morning like she is supposed to - we need groceries, laundry needs to be done, and the kids need a bath!!!

Written by Brandon Grady
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