What’s the secret to single parenthood?

The cursor keeps blinking at me. The rest of this clichéd image includes a half eaten bag of Snyder’s pretzels – the stick kind (gotta love market research). I would get the original shape if deli’s still had them, but I guess I’ll just have to wait for retro pretzel shapes to become fashionable again. On the floor next to me – safe and sound on a coaster – is a room temperature Boylan Seltzer (lemon flavored). The cursor is not taunting me, as you would imagine, from watching You’ve Got Mail to many times as I have, because I do not what to write, but rather it taunts my indecision to post what I just wrote. It’s certainly not a masterpiece, but I beat the crap out of the keyboard for the first couple of paragraphs as I continued to lament the societal meltdown I first pointed out on my personal blog. It was one of those rare posts started a week in advance and started with gusto only to peter out in the days that followed because of too much tinkering and a cooler head. The deadline took me completely by surprise this fine autumn evening and so here I am staring at the cursor blinking at me.

I always work best under the pressure of imminent calamity, which come to think of it is the only true requirement to survive as a parent. So with the post hitting the streets tomorrow bright and early I figured I would hit the new button and work from scratch to get something truly hot off the press to all of you. This is usually when you get that Home Alone not-so-pleasant-feeling that you’re forgetting something. Cue my son screaming for me from his bedroom. I look around and realize that I am the only one home because my wife is on a business trip. A four-day business trip. This will be the nth trek to my son’s bedroom only to find him standing like Celine Deon in Vegas with his head cocked backwards to give him maximum aperture and his right hand holding the baby monitor’s microphone at the perfect distance from his mouth to capture the full vibrato of his shrieks. This is, in brief, the reason for the aforementioned clichéd scene.

Now this may seem run of the mill to most and it is to a certain extent for me, but it got me thinking about what it must be like to be a single parent. I frankly can only get an ephemeral taste of it on days like today and I only have one kid so I really shouldn’t complain. It’s that moment when you have finally gathered the mental energy to complete a task and your concentration is broken because the little one needs you and there is no one else around who is going to step in and take care of business. That is what I cannot fathom. I read some blogs written by single dads like Sex and the Single Dad (although he does not reveal the secret of how single parents change stinky diapers with one hand while pouring some Jack Daniels with the other) and single moms like Single Mama NYC and you never feel that they are not in control. They talk about their kids, their life, the crap they put up with, their jobs, great causes we should all be aware of and some of their thoughts on everyday life, but never in a tone that betrays any hysteria. And I admire that because I know that right now after only two days with the little one there are moments where I would love nothing more than to bash my head in with one of those wooden mallets that Woody Woodpecker uses. Maybe they have more super-parenting-like qualities in them like super-patience? The cursor is still blinking at me, but at least I have asked my question. I know there are many great single parents who blog and/or single parent bloggers out there and I would love to hear from them and hear what makes them tick. Oh and, of course, Chapeau!

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