8 out of 11.
That's how many weeks my husband will have been gone when he finally gets home on Saturday.
I've said it before, but seriously: hats off to the single parents. You guys are some kind of awesome I truly hope never to be.
Because if I'm all they've got? If it's just me that stands between us and disaster? We're in big trouble.
Casey has been gone since last Thursday - eight loooong days ago, and it has probably been the toughest stint of all. I could give you a dozen legitimate reasons: I'm too big. I'm too tired. We're about to move... in like 4 days. Two year olds are too much work for one person all.the.time without a break.
All of these things are true. But mostly, we're just done.
Both of us. For the first time, the little has had nightmares and woken up missing her daddy. We've been doing the bad thing that I don't do very often and sleeping together. Yes, in my book, when I child wakes up crying because they miss their parent, it warrants a little snuggle time in Mommy's bed.
It's a tough old job. Not made any easier by the fact that I'm nearly 30 weeks pregnant.
We've reached the point where, when it's 4:30 and she chucks something onto the floor from whatever its original resting point for the 927th time that day, bending over to pick it up is a really big deal. And her two-year-old's game of I WANT THAT! followed immediately by I DON'T WANT THAT! is no longer amusing to my virtually nonexistant patience. And the 5,000 ways she's developed to delay Mom from whatever task - no matter how minute - we're trying to accomplish? Yeah, I'm pretty exhausted.
Mostly, though, it's myself I wind up mad at.
That I'm not more patient. That I'm not more open to indulging her. That I can't always play with her. That, dare I admit it? I've even yelled at her. That despite my deep, deep-seeded desire to nurture and empower her spirit, I still reach that point that all moms know. I believe it's called the end of our rope.
I am still not that perfect mom, despite both tremendous effort and tons of prayer.
You know her, right? She's the one with the clean house, the happy, well-fed children kept busy and entertained as a result of their mother's craftiness. The one who speaks with wisdom, kindness and love and always - always - without raising her voice.
She definitely exists. That mom who could do with grace and ease what I try and fail to do every day. At least, that's what I never fail to convince myself.
The good (and bad?) news is that there is nothing to do but pick up and try again tomorrow, remembering how very precious and important these moments are. Not only because they are so fleeting and wonderful, even in the same moment that they are challenging, but because they are so significant in answering the question of who she will become.
That's the best and scariest thought of all. (It begs the question: What do we do on the days when I'm just not enough?) So come home soon, Daddy.
We're sooooo ready.