Monday, August 30, 2010

How do they do it?

You've seen the bios:

"So and so is a stay-at-home mom to three adorable children under the age of five, two dogs, a cat, and a bearded dragon named Louie. When not writing, she enjoys building houses for Habitat for Humanity, hand-making all her family's clothes, and acting as mayor of Dubuque. She recently finished her thirteenth solo ascent of Everest. This is her sixth novel in the past year; her first collection of self-illustrated poetry will be out in July."

Who ARE these people? WHERE did they buy their time-turners? And, while I'm asking questions with all caps, WHO THE HECK STUCK THIS EXTRA WEEK OF NO SCHOOL IN BETWEEN AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER???

I try. I do. I know people send their kids to play and shut the door and go write masterpieces. But I have to assume those people's children don't think up games like "Carry the Cat By Her Tail," "What Happens When Dry Erase Markers Get Really, Really Wet?" and the classic "Sit on Your Brother's Head Til He Screams." The only time my kids are silent enough for me to write without leaving one ear and some brain space available to monitor them is when they're up to something really naughty.

So today I planned myself some writing time with a playdate. That fell through. Child care? Nobody available. I planned a pool trip; at least I could jot down ideas while they played, right? We lotioned, got dressed, and biked down there. Immediately upon our arrival, someone else's kid vomited vast and chunky all over the shallow end. Pool closed indefinitely.

"Go play," I ordered when we got home. They went upstairs to play Harry Potter School. I opened Word. And it's broken. Won't start at all. I spent five minutes re-starting and swearing at it before the door to Tink's room opened.

TINK: Mom?
TINK: Mom?!
TINK: We need you to come be the werewolf!
JACQUI: No. I'm busy.
TINK: Please?
TINK: (runs down stairs) PLEEEEEEEASE? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE? (dances circles around living room)
DESTRUCTO: (bounces down stairs) Pyeez pyeez pyeez. (spins in nauseating circles, narrowly avoiding every pointed edge in room)
JACQUI: Stop. No. Go away. Shoo! (holds laptop like shield)
TINK & DESTRUCTO: PLEEEEEESE! PYEEZ! TWO MINUTES! PLEEEEEEEEE -- (continues until blue in the face) -- SE!
JACQUI: (Deep breathes. Closes laptop. Weeps)


Diane T said...

Didn't you know? This extra week is for us to take extra vacation! The fine legislators of the great state of Michigan decided we needed the week before Labor Day to spend our brain cells, er, money, around the state. Good luck lasting until school starts.

Boni Ashburn said...

Yeah, this week is *not* my favorite. My kids are SO ready for school by now... I love them dearly, but the three of them need more mental stimulation than I am capable of at this point in the summer. And I need to get back to writing- I haven't written a word since school let out! You are not alone, Jacqui :)

Kristy said...

I work from home, too. Why is the website content not written? Short answer? It is August.

Seven. More. Days.

cath c said...

i'm right there with you, jacqui. but we have a case of diarrhea running through the house as well as everyone in it, and there are 6 of us, rather than pool chunks.

i throw up my hands. i yell. one child is a spinning top of interruptions, one is a deep voiced, 'mom. mom. mom. can i...' and the third wants to sit on my lap in the office, eating my breakfast while listening to super why or elmo from the other room. i can't send her away for another month, when she ages into a local 2 day a week program.

i just want to finish entering my edits, and finish toots's quilt, and not pull out all my hair before sept 7th.

and i still have to buy school supplies and attend three open houses/orientations this week - hs, middle school and pre-school.

calgon? take me away?

cath c said...

i forgot to mention i need to potty train her completely by oct 5th, too. so that i can send her away for 2 mornings a week.

(ps - i love my nutball kids, but sheesh!)

J. Thorp said...

My own life is way different, and so very much the same. On the other hand, I have the distinct feeling that if I had all the quiet/creative/kid-free downtime in the world, dark coffee and good beer, the proper playlist, and a witty Facebook status update in place, and I sat down to write, I wouldn't have an idea in my head, let alone a usable word...

Jacqui said...

Diane: I actually decided this morning that next year we are going away this week instead of earlier. But now I feel so manipulated...

Boni, You summed it up: I love them but they're ready to be back at school. Thanks for the encouragement.

Kristy, exactly.

cath, ugh. The speed potty training thing alone is enough to put you under.

Thorp, I wonder that too.

J. Thorp said...

It's sorta like Stephen King (or innumerable middle-aged rock stars) wondering if they can write while clean and sober. We're inebriated on children.

Julie Hedlund said...

Okay, how did you break into my house and write a blog post based on what you saw here???

tammi sauer said...

I bet you make an awesome werewolf.

Anonymous said...

My little one if 17, so he is able to keep himself amused, but I do remember the "Mom! Pleeze!" days all too well. Have to admit that sometimes I miss those days. It felt good to be such a big part of his world when he was younger. Now he's a young man/almost adult. Enjoy them while they are young. The years go by way too fast.