"And there are new downloads for Mario Kart, and I can't wait to get them, they seem so, so cool!" Tommy
"I just don't understand why Stampy Cat won't come to my world!" Natalie
Picture the above. Both said at once to me. I didn't know who to look at. Who to focus on. The first one who spoke? But really, they both started at the same time. The oldest? But then that wouldn't be fair to Natalie.
"There should be a Link. I like Link. Did you play Zelda when you were a kid?" Tommy
"One of my sheep died. I'm going to make him a dead sign." Natalie
Again. Said at the same time.
It's tough parenting alone when Tom is gone. They only come to me with stuff.
Another thing that can be difficult to balance? Making pancakes. It sound silly, I know, but Tom usually makes the pancakes and I usually deal with the sausage and the bacon. Now I have to do it on my own. I was busy messing with the bacon and Natalie was like, "Neat! The pancakes have SMOKE!"
Bedtime can be fun. Tom usually carries Natalie upstairs on his shoulders. I can't do that. I've tried. I fall over. Every night since Tom left, Natalie is like, "I miss my Daddy playing horsie with me." (That's what she calls riding on his shoulders.) She tells me, "You just pick me up and set me in the bathroom. It's just not as fun."
"I'll try the soup you're going to make, but I might gag." Tommy
"Watch me do a cartwheel with one hand! I can do it!" Natalie
"You're not looking at me!" Natalie
"If I gag and then throw up, I'll try to do it in the toilet." Tommy
Then there's the fighting. It's usually over the iPad mini. We only have one. Tommy has an iPod Touch, but he wants to play Minecraft on the iPad Mini. So does Natalie. So it's arguing.
"You've been on enough! My turn." Tommy
"I just got on! Go away." Natalie
Sometimes it's just because Natalie has gotten too close to Tommy.
"Move over. I can smell you." Tommy
"I smell like cherries. I put on cherry lip gloss." Natalie
"Get away." Tommy
"MOM! Tommy is being ruuuu-dddee." Natalie
To which I say, "Guys? Stop acting like Congress. Stop fighting over ridiculous things. Work together. Make our country a better one."
"What's a Congress?" Natalie
Sometimes I overstuff the trash, and I can't lift it in the bin. Tom has the biceps. I have the proof that I have no self-control when it comes to sweets in my arms. So I grunt and I grunt and sometimes I manage to get it in, other times I have to drag it by the trash can which I imagine is annoying to the trash people.
"How old were you when you got your Nintendo 64? I know you told me, but I forgot." Tommy
"Can you play Barbies with me?" Natalie
I think, this is hard, but it's temporary. Single parents do it all themselves. I remind myself of this when I worry I won't be able to do it. I think, they do it, they do it all the time, every day. If they can do it, I can do it.
"I think I feel a mustache forming. It's not just peach fuzz. It's something." Tommy
"Can we get a puppy? I'll take care of it! I'll name it Princess!" Natalie
If they can do it, I can do it.