“It”

Tag, you are it! Simple game. You tag someone and then they chase everyone until they can tag someone. The person who is tagged is now “it”. It’s a game that has been played in school yards for years. It will probably be played for years to come. No materials needed, just fun loving kids.
I was on a mini-vacation and saw friends that I haven’t seen in for awhile. Being the concerned friends that they are, the following question was asked quite a few times “how are you doing with everything?” Basically asking how am I doing being essentially a single dad. As the week or so went on my answer became more and more refined. I had time to think about the question and form a formidable answer.
The most difficult thing is that I have no one to tag. In a “normal” setting there is a mom and dad that can take turns. In my situation it’s just me. There are no other options.
When things start melt down then it is nice to be able to tag someone and make them “it”. The “it” being the person who is now watching the precious creation you made. The “it” being the one to change the poopie diaper. The “it” being able to take the crying child away while you relax and regroup.
Instead what happens is that I’m “it” all of the time. Just like in the game it gets tiring. In the game you are constantly chasing the other kids. No breaks, no time to regroup, you are “it”. That’s what it’s like being a single parent.
It’s easy for those that see their kid for one day, maybe two to be “it”. Try doubling that to four nights a week, then add a solid 24-48hrs of the weekend of being “it”. No time outs, no regroup. You have to chase everyone. No matter how many times you tag someone else, you are “it”.
Typically if you are playing tag and you are “it” all of the time you will eventually just quit. Or get too tired to even play. The problem is that as a single parent you can’t quit. That when your kid is melting down because he missed his nap, there isn’t anyone to tag, there isn’t a way out. It’s just you and the situation, you are “it”. That’s probably the suckiest part of being a single parent. You are “it” all of the time.

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