Adventures in Babysitting: What Really Happens When a Single Mom Goes outChristine Coppa
Hi guys! It’s Aunt Jemma aka work-wife. Chrissi asked me to write about my Saturday night babysitting JD—and the madness that ensued the next morning. The three of us spent the day at the pool, and then trekked upstairs to shower and make pizza. JD knew Chrissi was leaving and he was NOT happy about it. He was stomping around the condo announcing his discontent. “MOMMAAAAAY?!” he’d yell the second she was out of sight, “I DON’T WANT YOU TO LEAVE EVERRRR!”
This went on for a few hours while she was getting ready. I gave myself a second-degree burn taking the pizza out of the oven—the pizza that JD then refused to eat because it was “disgusting.” He sobbed into his replacement chicken nuggets and veggies. Chrissi decided she was going to cancel a total of 15 times “He’s sick! He needs me! I’m a bad mother! I can’t leave him!” It was a traumatic evening for all of us.
Finally JD and I snuggled up on the couch to watch Muppets in Space (my choice) and he seemed to chill out. We jammed to the funky music, did karate with Miss Piggy, and pondered the intricacies of space. By the time Chrissi was ready to leave (she changed twice) he waved her away. ” Bye Mom,” he said, never taking his eyes off of Kermie and Gonzo. Off she went in her sheer polka dot top, skinny jeans and nude heels — and a fantastic braid compliments of me.
Now I should have mentioned that Chrissi’s date was 40 minutes away, but he lives in an awesome part of NJ so she drove there—even though she hates driving—on dates. She planted the seed earlier in the week “So … um … he offered to let me stay over and said he would sleep on the couch. I’m feeling soooo anxious about driving. I really don’t want to driiiive. Will you drop me off and pick me up? Pleeeease!”
I was not having it. We bickered like an old married couple about it all week while we racked 500 bras for an upcoming fashion photo shoot and shuffled back and forth from meetings. She finally agreed that she would only have one or two white wine spritzers and drive home. I didn’t believe her, but I went along with it.
By the time JD was in bed snuggling with my dachshund, Lola, Chrissi had met up with her date and was having a great time at Teak and then the W Hotel cocktail lounge. I was glad. I’m totally pulling for this guy (I picked him out for her on the dating website I signed her up for). I settled in on the couch to watch The Newsroom on HBO on demand and enjoy an adult beverage. A few episodes later my phone buzzed, it was Chrissy: “My intention is to drive home. If not I shall be home before the sun comes up. I will pay you”… I rolled my eyes. “Chrissi if you were coming home you wouldn’t text a disclaimer. You’re not paying me.”
I knew she wasn’t coming home and never really intended to (and I was planning on sleeping over regardless— the girl needs to have FUN. Seriously, trust me, she is a 24/7 solo single parent, workaholic). We texted back and forth for an hour until she finally admitted that she was staying over. “I will set the alarm for 5 am and prevail home … and yes paying you.” I wasn’t surprised. “Have FUN, see you in the am,” I replied. I went to sleep with an uneasy feeling in my stomach. JD is a notoriously early riser and I was nervous about how the morning would go. He is obsessed with his mommy!
I was jolted awake at 5 am by the bathroom light shining in my face. I hoped it was Chrissy removing her eye makeup, but JD sleepily wandered out of the door. “Hey buddy,” I said as he flopped on top of me and yawned. “I had to go pee” he mumbled. Chrissy was M.I.A. and I had to stall. I tucked him back in bed pretending it was the middle of the night and he fell back asleep. Just as I picked up my phone to call Chrissy, it buzzed with a text ” @#*&! Just woke up, ghahhhhh, leaving now!”
My initial reaction was to panic, but I’m resourceful, I’m a magazine photo producer (which basically means I fix problems for a living, often at the last minute), I could do this. When I heard JD waking up I went on the offensive.
I shut the door to Chrissy’s room before I plucked him out of bed and rushed him out the door in jammies to walk Lola (he loves holding the leash). I explained on the elevator ride down that mommy had a headache and was sleeping and we had to be very quiet so we didn’t wake her up. “But guess what?!” I squealed “We’re going to the diner for breakfast! You can have whatever you want!” (it took a lot to feign this much excitement at 6 am without caffeine in my system. I am not a morning person and being childless, I never rise before 9 or 10 on a weekend). Luckily, he bought it. I texted Chrissi the plan as I dressed JD in grey cargo shorts and a fun red hoodie. We ran out the door before he had a chance to peek into her room.
“Taking JD to the diner, text me when you’re home, put on your P.J.s he thinks you’re sleeping.”
[It’s Chrissi: Driving home on Rte 3 and seeing this text, made me LOL!! I have the best friends!!]
JD and I had pancakes and eggs at the diner and talked about kindergarten. We colored an “under the sea” themed placemat for his fish, Leo Jack Coppa, and I agreed to let him enjoy the ring pop our waiter gave him on the ride home (I know it was before noon and those things are pure sugar, but I REALLY wanted to keep him happy. Don’t judge me).
When we were done and I had gotten word from Chrissy that she was home I paid the check. The perfectly coiffed cashier eyed me up and down sternly while her hot pink nails flew across the register. That’s when I realized I hadn’t brushed my hair (or my teeth … ew) before we left the condo and I was still wearing the sweatshirt I had slept in. Classy.
When we arrived at home JD burst through the door giggling ” MOMMY!” There was Chrissy wearing her date’s (kinda cool) t-shirt and drinking a cup of coffee. She hugged JD and grinned at me. Atta girl!
Disclaimer from Chrissy: I’m trying to strike a balance.
Soooooo, single rents, do you sleep out on dates? I’m asking married parents too. My married friends spend weekends in AC and leave the kids with Gma. Discuss. Judge me. Love me. Hate me.
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