Let me be the first to say, I have no idea how single parents do it. I am so not cut out for single parenting. Single moms raising kids, single dads raising kids, people who have lost their spouse, parents with a spouse who is deployed or work long distances away for extended periods of time, especially people in these situations with no family or close friends around. I have often told Gary that he doesn't get to die first. Before we had kids, I would tell him I didn't want to be alone. Since we've had kids, I tell him that I can't be solely responsible for all his heathens. (Of course, I mean that in only the most loving way, but they are completely insane, uncivilized, destructive forces when they want to be, and I'm totally going to blame the genes he donated, after all he's not here to defend himself.)
The kids have been oscillating between angelic helpers, and whiney fit pitchers of epic proportions - but the idea of an oscillating fan or the gradual swing of a pendulum might not be completely accurate. They are typically more of a 0 - 60, a complete 180, or sometimes I wonder if they have split personalities. To use a really adapt analogy, some days Britt has literally pretended to be Fix it Felix and has fixed, run errands, helped with chores, and just looked for things to help with. Other days he has once again literally pretended to be Wreak it Ralph and has created extra messes, willfully disobedient, demanding, and insisted that he is "the bad guy and bad guys don't help anyone." I suppose Ruth has hit her terrible twos later in life. She can be loving and accommodating one minute and the next yelling "but I don't want to" while being the worse drama queen. Rebecca has had a few days where she screams bloody murder if you aren't holding her 24/7, but the only real problem with her, is trying to adjust bedtime WAY back from 2 am.
While there have been some challenges, I thought I might share some of the highlights. I have mentioned on Facebook, but I can't say enough what a big boy Britt was on the trip back from Florida. He was such a big helper, and to look at him growing so tall without much baby fat left to his face, I want to say where have the last 4 years gone? He never fussed in the car for the three days we were driving, except the couple of times that Ruth kept propping her stinky feet in the middle of his lap. Instead, he told me what Ruth was saying. It's never really easy to understand her, but with her mumbling in the backseat where I couldn't look at her or really hear her over the noise of the road, it was impossible. He worked the DVD player for them. All I had to do was change the disk for him. When Rebecca would begin to fuss he would find her pacifier and hold it in her mouth and sing to her. He would help to calm her down until I could get off the road to feed her. All of this despite the fact that his Momma kept forgetting to cut Rebecca's nails at night, and she was scratching up his hands pretty good. Driving is long and tiring, even spread out over three days, it was especially hectic that first day in the heavy rain for the first 2 hours, but he made the trip so much easier on me.
Ruth has been especially good at fetching and carrying things. It seems like everyone needs something when I'm nursing, or that Rebecca needs something when I'm working on food for everyone else. Ruth has managed to go get diapers and throw dirty ones away, find burp cloths and blankets, and helping Britt located whatever he's having a meltdown over. She's getting to be a pro at finding where I last left the cell phone, and running all the way back with it, so I can catch all the phone calls coming in from family, moving companies, and everything else we are trying to juggle. On that note, she's getting pretty good at finding where I left my planner/calendar and pen too. When I'm trying to cook, she's quick to go and pat and sing to Rebecca. If only I can convince her that it's ok to cover her up with her blanket, but not to cover up her whole head too.
And the best part of all so far. Britt has slept in the bed with me until 9 am every morning, and Ruth comes and gets in bed with us at 7, and sleeps until 8 or 9. That helps ton on the nights that I can't get Rebecca down to around 2.