To all the single ladies .... and mothers...

Not for the first time I find myself in awe of single-motherdom and its daily mind boggling challenges. Ladies I don't know how you do it.

Two days into my week of  single motherhood  - (yes Alan is away for a couple of days) I realise once again I am not cut out for this monumental achievement in multitasking, managing, organising and developing superhuman qualities all in one days work (and I have great and capable help!!!)

It all started out well enough with me smugly packing lunchboxes and school bags and laying out multi layered little outfits inspired by "iafrica- 7-day- weather-forecast" the evening BEFORE ( having temporarily lost the morning privilege of shouting last minute instructions to Alan from the sanctuary of my bathroom).

 I then calmly set my alarm for six oh ten and go to bed at a civil time expecting a good night's rest and a smooth and efficient start to the day.

At around midnight Leah comes crawling into my bed, demanding a drink of water and around nine tenths of my duvet and mattress space. Can't go back to sleep for what feels like hours. But must have dozed off before 2 am because that is precisely when I am yet again rudely woken by what seems like drunken party noises from next door. Turns out it's Kala -  who has clearly recovered from nasty ear infection that kept us up the previous two nights - letting the world know with a smashing song that she is finally well and sufficiently rested.

In one swift move I find myself standing by her bed negotiating terms

Me: Kala, sleep time
Kala: Mama you sing for me
Me: Need to sleep can't sing
Kala: Twinkle twinkle LITTLE STAR (top of her voice)
Me (scared now Leah might wake): sshhhhh,  ok, one song, but then you have to sleep.
Kala: you sing by my bed  NOT from the door ! (cunning little cow)
Me: you have to close your eyes then.
Kala: closes one eye - remaining eye glinting triumphantly in the eery glow of the nightlight -whilst mama recites groggily: der Mond ist aufgegaahangen, die gooholdnen sternlein prahangen...

Suddenly shouting from next door:
Maaamaaa where are you???

I excuse myself for a minute from Kala's bed site and rush over to Leah who has flung herself diagonally across my bed crying hysterically:

 I thought you were gohohone and my eahear is so sooooore.

Horror visions of the next two nights spent soothing another raging ear infection alternate with suspicions that she's faking it, which instantly makes me feel guilty, but can't dwell on lovely guilt trip either as Kala is by now noisily demanding I finish her song.

The next two hours are spent with me hopping from room to room, alternately singing German lullabies, dispensing medicine (by now I don't care if she's faking it - out comes the bottle of Stoepain), holding warm water bottles to Leah's ear, changing Kalas nappie (as she demands fresh one to be able to close second eye) - before eventually finding myself with ice cold feet and hypochondriac symptoms pushed to the edge of my bed waiting for the alarm to go off and entertaining fantasies of contracting terminal ear infection whilst  having to look after two sick children for at least 6 nights in a row.

When  alarm eventually saves me from full blown panic attack,  I spend the first half of my carefully planned morning  trying to wake the girls from deepest sleep ever with tea, songs and promises of wonderful adventures later in the day whilst simultaneously trying to get dressed, showered and teeth brushed (maybe not in that order) myself.

Eventually I stand in yesterday's clothes and unwashed hair with  two  outfits in hand and nobody to put them on. Girls decided to play hide and seek and giggle hysterically at my increasingly threatening voice.  Eventually I manage to unwrap Kala from the bedroom curtain where upon she informs me she is going to keep her pyjamas on for the rest of the day. This time I am not negotiating.  I maneuver her kicking and protesting into school appropriate clothing while her sister - with clearly no recollection of terrible night pains - complains that the labels in her new t-shirt scratch and the socks don't go with the leggings and anyway she hates me and when is her papa coming back cause he's much nicer than me. Why? do I really want to know? because he is not shouting at us...
Fair enough. I am with them on that one: When is he coming back???????????

Cutting all scratchy labels out of Leah's clothes and choosing new socks - which she insists on doing herself -  only takes about the other half of allocated morning time.

I still haven't brushed Kalas teeth and that only gets accomplished when I allow Barbie to be bathed in the sink at the same time (it must be obvious by now that Kala is the star negotiator in our family), after which yet another change of clothes becomes necessary. Leah has in the meantime beautified her whole face with lipstick and is now happily drawing squirly whirlies on her arms with my Chanel lip liner.

The shame of presenting my child with imported cosmetics all over her face and body in her new earth friendly, hemp lined Waldorf environment, has to be faced as there is really no time for a lengthy clean up. I hand her a kitchen roll, bark out instructions to wipe offending body parts, grab one kid  under each arm and drag them off to breakfast (yes: lovingly prepared the evening BEFORE).

I am going to skip the details of  our family breakfast  and the many reasons why it was IMPOSSIBLE to ingest even one spoonful of my horrendously healthy breakfast (papa makes a much nicer one - of course he does, it's effing cardboard  pronutro with buckets of honey) - and now we are in the car and off to school - surprisingly only 5 minutes behind schedule.

I do a drive by at the German Kindergarten and throw Kala over the gates into the capable hands of Rebecca or Beatrix - suddenly can't remember a single name - speeding off towards Kenilworth and the peaceful, veggie-dyied wool knitting morning activities at Waldorf paradise.

While  sitting in the dolls corner being served wooden apples and tea in tiny ceramic cups I suddenly remember that I should have left the gate open for our cleaner. So I rush back - a meter a minute in morning traffic - to get to the house at half past nine and beyond late for morning meeting at my place of business - which seems by now a remote and fancyful phantasy of my sleep deprived mind.

As I race from home to work a pling pling informs me there is a text - from absent husband asking how it's all going. "All fine" super mom replies, "kids at school, on my way to work - MISS YOU"

How true
.... to be continued


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