I have no idea how single parents keep their sanity. I would go out of my mind if I had to deal with everything in this big, bad world of parenting and all that pertains to raising children by myself. I know this sounds terribly old-fashioned, but I don't care. Kids should be raised by BOTH parents. I can say this because I wasn't, and saw, first-hand, how difficult it was for my mother. She shouldn't have had to tackle those hair-clogged drains and ant infestations all by herself.
It never fails that the minute my husband goes out of town, something happens that requires his stereotypical male expertise. He's the official checker-outer when there's a suspicious noise at night. He's master of all things mechanical. He's the one who provided the bulk of his DNA, and thus personality, to our teenage daughter and knows the best way to handle her latest hysterical rant. He wheels the trashcans to the curb every week (when he remembers) and makes sure we have insurance for our autos, always. When there's a toilet to unclog, he's all over it with that super cool black plunger that does the trick every time.
So, of course, he's out of the country when I need him most for life's little freak outs. On Thursday I noticed some hunks of stuff, for lack of a better term, that had fallen into the hearth from the chimney. I figured it had just become dislodged and fallen since this house was built in the 30s. This morning when the youngest daughter and I came down the stairs for breakfast, we heard some pitifully weak chirping echoing down the fireplace and then it stopped.
I immediately broke out into a cold sweat as I flashed back to the Squirrel Incident of 2006. A cute little fluffy tailed squirrel got trapped in our chimney and died, whereupon the odor became unbearable and we had a fly infestation thanks to its rotting carcass. My mind starts racing, worrying that the bird might somehow get into the house in its half-dead state or die up there and we'll have the joy of reliving this scenario yet again. So where is my fearless and level headed husband as I start to hyperventilate? Yep, he's enjoying the shorts weather over in Texas this weekend with his family.
As if that wasn't enough, then we had the whole debacle with the boiler a couple hours later. Folks from Texas just have no experience with these contraptions. The boiler keeps the radiators warm and provides the house with hot water, but I have no idea why or how. Honestly, I just wanna stay warm on cold nights and enjoy a nice hot shower. How the whole process works is beyond me and I'm fine with my lack of basic boiler knowledge. Of course, a little ignorance goes a long way towards misery when you're cold and can't get clean. Ye old boiler quit working last night, but we didn't realize this until almost lunchtime. I made a call to Texas, tracking down Mr. Fix It, for some advice. To make a long story short, it was a breaker that had been thrown that was keeping the boiler from doing its thing, whatever that may be. I still don't know.
The man of the house returns on Wednesday. In the meantime, I'm just praying one of the girls doesn't break an arm, since that already happened once when, you guessed it, my husband had gone hunting for the weekend. At this point, I think a hangnail or paper cut just might send me over the edge.