Sunday 6:10 p.m.- Realize there's no place like home.

My Parenting Hangover

I'm on week five of "Being Broughton."  Technically, I suppose, I've "been Broughton" my whole life, but this is week five of my blog by that name.  I've gotten into a nice rhythm of posting on Mondays.  So that means I typically write Sunday evening after my Mini Me sails off into toddler slumberland.  It's a nice little wind down from my weekend and gives me some "me time" that doesn't involve the Real Housewives of Anywhere and lets me use my brain in a non-forecasting way.

So Sunday night, as I'm happily sinking into my couch with my laptop, I hear coughing from the small person's room.  I do the typical parent move -- freezing, then listening intently.  It stops.  Whew.  I select my Justin Timberlake Pandora station ( it just me, or are you excited about the Jay Z/JT tour coming up?).  Then I hear it again.

The hacking starts again, so I decide to go crawl into bed with her.  Mini Me is 3 years old and, in so many ways, is like hanging out with a really short 35-year-old.  But, in so many other ways, she is still a tiny baby and loves snuggle time.  Still asleep, she instinctively crawls onto me and settles down.  I'm enjoying toddler cuddle time as I mentally debate what to blog about this week.  Should I write about my resistance to e-readers?  Or maybe my New Year's resolution for more adult time?

That's when my train of thought is broken because the coughing has resumed.  Not only has it resumed, but it quickly takes that awful turn of "coughing until she pukes."  Maybe "awful" is a strong word,  because she didn't even wake up, really.  And perhaps medically speaking, it isn't so awful.  In fact, her pediatrician has actually told me this is a great way to clear out whatever is causing the issue in the first place.

But when you are single parent, nighttime illness like this is one of the biggest challenges.  And when I say "biggest challenge," I'm talking about in the scheme of normal life and normal challenges.  I'm sure if your co-parent is a criminal, or really horrible person, then a little nighttime puke seems like small potatoes compared to what you deal with on a day-to-day basis.

Even if you aren't a parent, you probably had a drunk friend in college who would occasionally have a few too many Natural Lights and spew all over his or her bed.  You know the challenges this presents.  Now imagine that with a small person who you can't just leave to deal with the consequences while you eat a box of blueberry Pop Tarts.

In a two-parent or two-adult household, a team mentality quickly takes control.  One person tends to the Small Sick Person, cleaning, wiping, changing.  The other assumes laundry patrol, ripping the dirty linens off the bed and into the washing machine with lightning-quick precision.  Often as this happens, the Small Sick Person is relocated and may already be back asleep.  Fresh sheets are put onto the mattress and it's as if nothing ever happened.  A really experienced duo can complete all this in about 6 minutes.  I've seen it.  I've done it.

But when the defense is man-to-man, such as in my house, you are required to prioritize tasks.  For example, last night, my Small Sick Person wanted me to lay in bed and hold her, even though she seemed much better after the initial incident.  So the laundry isn't finished and her bed is still sheetless.

It's often in the midst of this one-woman show that I think of some petty complaints I've heard from friends and family about their partners.  Here are my top five favorites:

1.  Chews too loudly, specifically peanuts.

2.  Inefficient at smoothie making, especially regarding milk-to-ice ratio.

3.  Wears pleated khaki pants.

4.  Dispenses toothpaste incorrectly, often squeezing from about 3/4 down the tube.

5.  Drinks from bowls (OK, that one is mine.  It's just not right and I can't support it).

I admit, there are many things I really like about being a single parent.  The Mini Me and I are a great team, and she spends enough bonding time with her dad to allow me some adult time. 

And you're right, I probably don't want to spend most of my time with Loud Chewing, Bad-Smoothie Making, Questionable-Pants Wearing dude, who hasn't mastered the basics of toothpaste or cups. 

But, I wouldn't mind borrowing him for about five minutes, just so I can throw some sheets in the washer, during those rare occasions when Mini Me isn't feeling so hot.  Or maybe he could stop by while I nap today?

So in case you're wondering, that's why my blog is a day late this week.


Beer Goggles for Parents

You may have figured out by now that I have a bit of a social media addiction.  I do like Facebook, but if I ever had to choose just one social-media love, Twitter would win.  From a professional standpoint, you can peruse Twitter for five minutes and pretty much know all the big happenings in the world.  And because Twitter is so quick and easy, a lot of celebrities maintain their own accounts and actually do interact with their followers.  So while I’m pretty sure Lady Gaga is never going to send me a post card, she might type 140 characters or less to answer a fan’s tweet.

Because I have a 3-year-old, I follow The Wiggles on Twitter.  So when one of the actual Wiggles (Anthony, the Blue one) favorited one of my tweets, I squealed.  And promptly posted about it on Facebook.

Sidebar: If someone “favorites” a tweet, it just means that they’ve saved it so they can admire it over and over again.  When I was recently telling a friend about some of my tweets being “favorited,” he informed me that I sometimes speak in a language non-social media lovers don’t understand.  So there you go. Favorite that.