Thursday, August 16, 2012

Not Cut out for This

In case you were wondering, I SUCK at single-parenting.  Clint is on a job right now conducting trains back and forth to Arizona, and it's taking him away from home two to three days at a time.  During these last ten days, I've run over our fence, broke our living room lamp, lost my keys, locked myself and the kids out of our house, broke the pond's filter, locked myself out of my car, and stubbed my toe on a roller skate.  Oh, and the house got overrun by ants (again).  It's not like these mishaps can be blamed on Clint's absence...I'm sure I would have walloped my toe on that damn roller skate whether he was home or not.  But I've noticed in the past that whenever Clint is gone for long periods of time, things start falling apart.  A long time ago, back when he trained as a dispatcher in Texas for nearly three months, I remember I did stupid things ALL the time--like accidentally leaving one-year-old Elijah in Trin's kindergarten classroom on her very first day of school.

The thing is, with the kids in school and me back to work, I just can't seem to keep up with all of the responsibilities by myself.  Yesterday I had to go to a conference all day, so the night before I was trying to pack the kids for school, make sure their homework was done, create sub plans, make dinner, make sure everyone had clean clothes, and so on, only to have my alarm go off at 5:00 a.m. and sleep walk through the day.  I feel like every day I'm collapsing in bed with no down time whatsoever.  And then I'm losing so much sleep because I spend hours in bed with my mind racing,  worrying about everything coming up the following day and trying to figure out if I've remembered everything.

What's worse is during Clint's absence, there is almost no communication between us.  He's not allowed to use his cell phone on the train, so the only time he can call me is from the terminal.  But so far, every time he's at the terminal, it's either the middle of the night and all the sane people are asleep, or it's the middle of the day and I'm teaching class.  He did text me last night saying, "I'll be at the terminal soon and will call you in about twenty minutes.  I'm dying to hear your voice."  It was already getting late, but I opted to stay up for his phone call since it had been 48 hours since we had last talked.  That's one silver lining...all of this time away actually gives us opportunities to miss each other.

Clint finally came home today and brought me lunch at work.  Later, when I came home, the lawn was mowed, the pond filter was fixed, the ants were gone, and the pantry and refrigerator were stuffed with easy-to-prepare food.  He was watching TV, and I told him, "I don't care if your ass just sits around staring at a screen all day long, I'm so glad you're home!"  And it's true.  Right now, he can just sit there and be a non-communicative blob for all I care.  It's a huge sigh of relief just to have him home.

Oh, I tried an energy drink for the first time ever!  During the first hour of the conference, I was trying desperately not to fall asleep, so one of the teachers gave me a Red Bull.  Holy geez.  Maybe I'm just not used to these things, but within a half hour, I could not stop moving.  At one point I had to sit on my hands just to get them to stop tapping the table.  I wanted to go run laps, but our conference didn't really afford an opportunity for that.  There is now two teachers, a principal, and an assistant principal who will never let me touch a Red Bull again.