It was hot here today – mid-80’s. Not that I’m complaining – definitely not! It was a beautiful, warm, sunny, dry day – near perfect weather in my view. And a great day for ice cream – I knew the girls would be thrilled at the notion of a trip to the ice cream stand near our house.
And they were! Both ate great dinners, and off we set for ice cream. K was on her bike, and B in the stroller. It’s about a half mile walk from our house. We passed the small park where a T-ball game was being played by teams in red and white, with parents hovering nearby. B kept shouting for K to wait, as she was way ahead on her bike.
We arrived at the ice cream stand and I placed our orders. B was playing with the tires on the stroller, trying to move it forward and back, so I set the brake. As I turned to take the proffered cone for B, crying erupted. She had bounced up and down and tipped the stroller backwards, landing on her head. Screams for ice cream. A kindly fellow customer offered to hold the cone so I could pick up B to comfort her. A woman behind the screen offered to get a bag of ice, which we accepted gratefully. After paying and getting 3 ice creams for 3 people, we set off to find a spot to sit and enjoy our treat. K gingerly tried maneuvering her bike as she held her cone, I carried B who was holding her own cone, while I held my mini-cup and pushed the empty stroller (how many hands do I have?)
Beginning to feel a bit stressed, was I. Then K tried getting on her bike, holding the cone, and I admonished her to walk it, because if the cone dropped…..I just don’t know what I’ll do. She got off her bike, continued pushing……and the ice cream toppled off the cone. How did I know? Because a 6 year old who has lost her ice cream can wail as if her world is ending. And in many ways I felt like mine was!
Being a single parent full time to two children is hard. This is my choice, I realize that. And I love my children. But they are hard work. I seriously almost lost it when that ice cream fell. B was still screaming from her fall. K was wailing with grief. My hands were literally and figuratively full. They are too young to let sit alone while I go back to get another cone. And it wasn’t appropriate to refuse to buy a replacement (thank goodness I had tucked a $20 in my pocket instead of close to exact change which I sometimes do!). But when and how was seriously stressing me out.
They’re in bed now, and I’m exhausted. Sleep sounds good….but so does time alone.