Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Monday, January 26, 2015

How to Write when you have a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old

I popped over to this blog to copy something to the 2nd Generation Allergy Mom one, and discovered that this blog post was sitting there as a draft.  It's over a year old now and unfinished, but I found it amusing and thought I would post it for the benefit of anyone still reading.

How to Write when you have a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old
  • Wake up, get children ready for the day, feed them
  • Decide to enjoy your children for the morning.  They're only this little for a short time, and you can write later
  • Play with children
  • Think about your work-in-progress.  Get lost in the memories of what you've already written
  • Come back to reality with a start, to the sound of your youngest screaming
  • Find children, mediate conflict, return loveys, recite apologies
  • Go back to playing with children
  • Daydream again of WIP
  • Realize your eldest is saying your name over and over.  He probably has for the last two minutes
  • Attend to child's requests
  • Play with children
  • Think of amazingly awesome new plot element for WIP.  Race to write it down
  • Trip over toys on the way.  Insist your children clean up the toys they aren't playing with anymore.  Agree to help them clean up.
  • Continue playing, until you realize you never wrote your awesome idea down.  Head, more slowly this time, to the nearest piece of paper
  • Hear your five-year-old scream because you're writing on his drawing
  • Apologize to five-year-old.  Find another piece of paper.  Begin writing idea down.
  • Hear a thunk, followed by a wail.  Realize two-year-old has banged his head into a piece of furniture.  Offer comfort.
  • Realize it's time to make lunch.  Head to kitchen, begin pulling out food
  • Remember your idea.  Go back to paper to continue writing it down
  • Explain to your children that yes, you know they're hungry and yes, you're working on making lunch, you just need one minute to write something down
  • Try to concentrate on idea despite the wailing in the background
  • Finally get all ideas on paper
  • Go back to kitchen, continue making food
  • While there is time-sensitive food on the stove, your youngest insists he has to use the toilet.  Glance at timer, glance at child, and attempt to hurry him to the bathroom
  • Finally arrive in bathroom, assist child onto toilet, hear timer in kitchen
  • Tell child to stay put and you'll be right back
  • Take care of time-sensitive food in the kitchen.  Race back to bathroom
  • Clean pee off floor and/or child.  Finish up in bathroom.  Get new clothes for youngest.
  • Return to kitchen.  Finish making lunch.
  • Feed children and self.
  • Begin cleaning up kitchen, realize it's time for two-year-old to take a nap.
  • Ask two-year-old to try to use the toilet again.
  • Shake head to rid it of ringing in ears.
  • Decide the pull-up will hold, even if he needs to pee now.
  • Chase child, coax him into a pull-up for his nap
  • Place child in bed and begin to sing
  • Child announces he needs to poop.
  • Bite tongue lest you voice the frustration that he takes too long to get ready for his nap.  Take him back to bathroom
  • Undress child.  Leave him alone in bathroom.
  • Try to clean up kitchen.
  • Listen to older child beg you to play with him.  Assure him you'll do an activity of his choosing as soon as the kitchen is clean and his brother is in bed.
  • See a streaking two-year-old run through the house.  Chase streaker, fearing for your carpet.
  • Clean up child.
  • Finally put two-year-old in bed.  Sing.  Leave room.
  • Clean up kitchen, to the accompaniment of "Mama, will you play with me?"
  • Finish cleaning kitchen.
  • Realize there are only ten more minutes before five-year-old should be in his room for quiet time.  Grumble.
  • Ask five-year-old what he wants to do
  • Spend five minutes getting set up for an activity.
  • Play with child.
  • Realize twenty minutes have passed.  Tell child it's time for quiet time.
  • Listen to child try to negotiate for more time.  Tell him 'no.'  Listen to whines.
  • Get child situated in room.  Read bedtime stories.  Make sure he has the toys he wants.  Leave room.
  • Realize that the hour-and-a-half you're supposed to have to write was reduced to an hour because of the late start.  Grumble.
  • Tidy up the house, just a little
  • Realize another fifteen minutes just went kaput.  Grumble.
  • Get situated in favorite chair with water/tea and netbook.  Turn netbook on, open applicable files.
  • Hear a door open.  Grumble.  Put netbook down, check on child.
  • Inform five-year-old that using the toilet is the only valid "reason" to leave his room during quiet time.  Discuss semantics of valid reasons.  Address (or deny) child's request.  Remind child to be quiet because his brother is napping.  Set child's nap clock to ring five or ten minutes later than normal because of the infraction.  Leave room again.
  • Sit back down with netbook.  Re-read the last few paragraphs of yesterday's writing to orient self.  Prepare to type.
  • Remember idea you wrote down earlier.  Get up to find it.  Sit back down, type idea into appropriate computer file.
  • Commence writing.
  • Feel sense of writers block.  Putz around, one painful paragraph at a time.
  • Finally hit stride, type like a maniac.
  • Hear beeping from the other room.  Look at clock, and see that it is time for quiet time to end.  Grumble.  Keep typing, hoping child is engrossed in another activity and won't bug you.
  • Five-year-old emerges, leans in front of your screen, and asks what you're doing.  Tell him you're busy writing, and to please not block your screen.  Continue typing.
  • Child watches for all of ten seconds.  Child asks if you'll play with him.
  • Tell child you will play when you finish up what you're working on, and ask him to give you ten minutes.
  • Child is quiet for twenty seconds, then leans over your keyboard and asks what a button does.  Remind child that if he's talking to you, you can't get your work done, and that giving you ten minutes means ten minutes of quiet.
  • Child leans over your arm for two minutes, then slumps to the floor for the third.  Continue writing to the best of your ability.  Child finally thinks of something to do and races out of the room.
  • Breathe a sigh, type like a maniac.
  • Realize fifteen minutes have passed and you're still not quite done.  Weigh guilt over broken promise to child against the desire to finish getting your chapter written.
  • Type one more sentence.  Realize five-year-old has been too quiet.  Set netbook aside to check on him.
  • Find child writing his own book.  Discover pencil marks on wall.
  • Scold child, clean up mess.

Yes, I remember those days.  They still continue, just in a different fashion nowadays.  There are no more naps, but instead we have school.  But it's amazing how quickly those fleeting four hours of preschool disappear.

1 comment:

Sue L said...

This was a delight to read. How you get anything done beyond family stuff is amazing. A true accounting of the life of a mom!