Triage parenting, Valentine's Day, and an announcement

For The Baltimore Sun

Last night, Isaac, who's 4 1/2, gave me the Valentine he had made for me at school.

"I love my Mommy because sometimes she lets me watch shows in the morning."

Eeep, really? I mean, it could have been worse ("I love my Mommy because usually she says she's sorry after she yells"), but this basically means, "I love you because you recently stopped enforcing that rule I hate."

Yes, we were strictly show-free in the mornings (OK, well, at least most of the time) for quite a while. But lately, a lot of the rules have gone out the window. Much like last February, as my husband's deployment wound to a close, I find myself solo parenting our two kids -- only this time I'm also working full time.

So we're in what I call "triage parenting" mode. Do what you gotta do to get through. A couple of weeks ago (the day my husband left, actually), the baby and I got one of the vicious stomach bugs that's going around, and I was trying to keep Isaac away from us as much as possible. The TV was packed up, so he basically got free reign over the iPad to watch shows and play games in another room, hopefully away from us and our germs. (I'm sure it was just a coincidence, but it seems to have worked.)

Getting back the limits since then has been a struggle, and at some point, I just kind of threw up my hands and decided, oh well, this is temporary. It's just triage.

And why is it temporary? Well, as it turns out, when my husband left a couple of weeks ago, he was setting out for Oregon, where he has started a new job. The kids and I are following in a couple of weeks. Which means that today, after more than 13 years, is my last day at The Sun.

It's been a trip, and I've been so lucky to do so many different things here and to learn so much, sometimes, as in the case of blogging, learning by doing.

When I first started writing about reality shows for the former Reality Check blog, I never would have dreamed that it would have led to so many friendships -- and opportunities to write about cooking and exercise and now parenting.

I'm not sure yet what my next adventures will be, but I'm sure at some point soon, I'll be blogging again. As noted in my bio here, it's a tough habit to break.

Thanks for reading and for all the thoughtful conversation. I'll miss you!

P.S. Stick around, though. Homefront isn't going away -- it's getting a new keeper.

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