Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

The Single Mother’s Weekend


Saturday, dawn: Husband and father-in-law depart for a weekend of bonding and looking at history in Berlin.

Saturday, 9am: Arise, having read book and enjoyed coffee in bed while the children watch some morning TV and get themselves breakfast (I warmly recommend the over-fours).

Saturday, 10am: Raining, so we proceed to the usually hideously over-crowded indoor playground, where I bury myself in my book (Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos, which is so beautifully, poetically written that I cry into my coffee) while the children leap about on the trampolines. When not reading, I check out the fathers, ranging from hot to not but all of whom appear to be actually enjoying spending time with their children and think about how the father species has improved in my generation; drink the world’s most disgusting latte; and try out the trampolines.

(Note to self: trampolining after three natural births is dicing with public humiliation.)

Saturday, 3pm: Return from playground and have burning urge to bake peanut butter biscuits. Eat biscuits and lie on bed while finishing book.

Saturday, 7pm: Have marathon Harry Potter reading session (six chapters of the Prisoner of Azkaban) on my bed, which is declared the girls’ dormitory for the weekend, broken by philosophical discussions on why Snape is mean, why the Weasleys are so funny, and which further HP story includes the unlikeable and ratty Peter Pettigrew.

Saturday, 9pm: Tell the girls to sleep and start Tatiana de Rosnay’s Sarah’s Key.

Sunday, 7.30am: Smallest child wakes at record late hour. Oldest sister takes him down for breakfast and telly. Read more of the excellent Sarah’s Key, washed down by two cups of coffee and thank the universe for my coffee machine.

Sunday, 9am: Children return to the dorm for more HP.

Sunday, 11am: Persuade family to get dressed.

Sunday, 1pm: Eat lunch and head for the cinema to watch Up (Oben, auf Deutsch). Eat peanut M&Ms during movie. Suffer regret.

Sunday, 4pm: Visit ice-cream parlour. Drink the best Milchkaffee in the Burg while the kids have ice-cream.

Sunday, 4.30 to 6pm: Attend a formal Lego and puzzle session. “You will play with me, Mummy,” says smallest child firmly.

Sunday, 7pm: Bath and return to dorm for climactic finish to the P of A. Sirius Black is a goodie! And Harry’s godfather! Harry conjures his first Patronus! It is almost too much for us all to bear – even those of us who have read it all before.

Sunday, 9pm: Off to bath to finish Sarah’s Key. Husband and father-in-law due back shortly.


Number of books read: 3

Number of coffees drank: 7

Number of cute dads discreetly admired: 2

Number of peanut butter biscuits: 3

Number of peanut M&Ms: whole packet

Number of meals I actually consumed at a table: 1

Number of feelings of overwhelming love for children: too many to mention

How much I am looking forward to husband coming back: a lot

Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

18 thoughts on “The Single Mother’s Weekend

  1. beautifully managed, Ms. C. I’ll keep this program in mind next time I’m in this position.

  2. Charlotte, you make (brief) single motherhood sound pretty damn good!! And I love the trampolining in particular.

  3. Oh, I loved Sarah’s Key!

    That sounds like a lovely time all around!

  4. At least you didn’t try one of those marketplace bungy jumping devices. Big mistake… the harnesses is soooo unflattering, your body weight that lets you spring up to the top higher than any of the kids (oh, look at the fat lady go hight), the humiliating inability to do any flips…

    Overall though, except for the trampoline, you did a masterful job of enjoying a lazy rainy weekend. Bravo.

  5. Sounds like a fabulous weekend was had by all! I can’t wait for the over fours! To think that I may actually be left in peace to read… but then again I do have boys who tend to not want to look after themselves if they can help it!

  6. Sounds like a perfect weekend. And now I want some peanut butter biscuits…

  7. Oh, I know. When Ralf’s gone I’m totally on the run, and not always in a good way. Nice, though, because the girls bunk with me.

  8. haha – liked the trampolining comment lol.

  9. Wonderful weekend. I am in awe that you could read 3 books while on your own with 3 kids!

  10. So glad that you are enjoying the books. I think Sarah’s Keys might be my favorite of the year. I hear she has a new book out and I plan to shop for it when back in the States.

  11. How on earth do you manage to read so many books on a single weekend! My husband was away for 8 days and I was on my knees with tiredness by the time he got back…

  12. Only three peanut butter biscuits? ( I would prefer three batches.) But sounds like you had a good time and I’m impressed with the three books read (and also the coffee machine).

  13. Oh, it sounds like a lovely weekend – I always enjoyed one on one time with my parents when I was younger…still do, in fact.

  14. “Smallest child wakes at record late hour. Oldest sister takes him down for breakfast and telly” They do that? From what age?

    Dudelet is thoroughly loving HP at the moment – must take him to see Up.

  15. Sounds like the perfect weekend to me. But I too am wondering how you managed to get your children so well trained that you were actually able to read three books. And you only ate three biscuits?

    Actually, in terms of caloric consumption, you probably should have regretted the three biscuits more than the packet of peanut m and ms. I mean, that is if that is why you were regretting them. I would be regretting them because of the artificial dyes, which will give me sores in my mouth if I eat too much of them. That is why I almost never eat jelly beans, which I dearly love. The mouth sores I get afterwards take all the fun out of it.

  16. I loved ‘Belong to Me’ as well! Have you already read ‘Love Walked In’ yet? I shall have to look for ‘Sarah’s Key’.

    I am quite lucky that my two girls are now teens; over the weekend the weather was lovely (sunny, 24/25C, low humidity) and I sat with the french doors open and re-read Haddon’s “A Spot of Bother” with my morning coffee. One was reading her own book and the other was having the kind of lie-in only a teenager can manage.

    Although I am now feeling sad in anticipation of them going away to University. Yes, it is two-three years still and I am over-anticipating, but as a single parent everything does seem to revolve around them. I had a preview when they were away at camp for a month this summer. Hours of quiet good; weeks – not so much!

  17. I am in hysterics – no trampoline necessary. Thank heavens I did not have natural childbirths.

  18. Pingback: Master Oh Waily’s Arrival « Oh Waily Waily

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