I survived the time that Jeff was away, and gained a more experiential appreciation for actual single parents. I've always known intellectually that it would be difficult to go to work all day and then come home and take care of your kid, but I didn't know it from experience. I was exhausted by the time dinnertime came around. We went out to dinner just about every night (except for Friday night when I made us some macaroni and cheese and we baked a cake for a party we were going to the next day). The difficulty of single parenting would have been even worse if I hadn't had the economic resources to go out to dinner at the end of an exhausting day. I remembered that while we were out and gave a 100% tip to the overworked IHOP waitress.
On Saturday, Vinny and I decorated the cake we'd baked on Friday night. It was a cake for a friend of mine who finally defended her dissertation a couple of weeks ago. I had promised her early on that I would bake her a cake when she graduated. I'm not sure, but I think she just did it for the cake. It was a two-layer, star-shaped chocolate cake (my standard cocoa devil's food cake from The Joy of Cooking) with raspberry filling and decorated with some awesome nerd jokes appropriate to her field of study. (I would post pictures but she doesn't know about this blog and I want to respect her privacy.)
Anyhow, the cake was a big hit at the party. Jeff arrived home late on Saturday, and I was really happy to see him, and not just because I was exhausted. It's good to have all three of us under the same roof.