There are a lot of very difficult things about being a single parent, and I'm sure I've documented enough of them for me to be able to officially change the name of my blog to, "I'm a Single Mom: Wah-Fucking-Wah" if I so chose. Tonight, in a surprise move, I'm actually going to go the other way and relate something very rich and satisfying about being the sole, head of my household. I absolutely love tucking in my home for the night. The ritual is not only comforting, but it also makes me feel able and confident.
First, I check both doors to make sure they're locked. After we're all safe and secure, I turn down the thermostat. It's not just to save money, we all seem to sleep better at a cooler temperature. Next, I put whatever was in the washer (because there's almost always something) into the dryer and get it going.
Once I've brushed, washed, and changed, (not necessarily in that order) I do my equivalent of counting my chicks. One, two. One, two. I enter each girl's room and rearrange blankets so that my girls are sufficiently covered, turn off any radios and look for hidden flashlights used for covert, late night book reading - just to make sure nobody rolls over onto them in their sleep. At that point, I am free to indulge in my nighttime child gazing which I still do even though they are in their teens. Actually, it's probably more necessary now that I don't get to see them as much in general, let alone when they are quiet and peaceful and not talking to or about their friends.
At last, when the girls are as comfortable and safe as I can make them, I get to go to sleep. I pull out the futon couch and let myself get lulled to sleep by the hum of the dryer. I'm usually so exhausted at that point, that the sporadic clinking and clanking of buttons against metal doesn't even prevent me from drifting off.