Hello Parents Who Write!! 😀
I’m still new at managing my time between writing and being a parent. So I have little advice on how to make your days perfect if you happen to have a current writing project under way and small children under foot. But I’m an EXPERT now at what NOT to do. How about I give you some suggestions so that you may laugh along with me? Laughing by myself always makes my eight year old nervous. Just a disclaimer – I will not confirm nor deny that the following has or has not happened in my house:
- Prepare snacks and meals ahead of time. It never fails that the moment you sit down at your computer, someone will be dying of hunger or thirst.
- If you haven’t seen your pets in say…the last thirty minutes, go look for them. Chances are they’re being held against their will by your preschooler who thinks that doll top would look FABULOUS on Mr. Kitty. Or just for practice, the kids could have locked poor Fido in the bathroom. You know, for potty training of course.
- Lock up all permanent markers. This needs no explanation.
- Lock up all lotions, toothpastes and anything else that can be squished from a tube. This also needs no explanation.
- If the 3 year old blames the cat and the cat rolls her eyes at the 3 year old and then casually begins bathing itself – blame them both for the entire roll of toilet paper that is now draped across your living room floor, furniture and light fixtures.
- Don’t let anyone under 10 years old outside to play without you. Even if you have an amazingly child-proofed backyard and sit at the window to write while they play. Someone will get hurt, always. It’s the best time for your son to think he’s superman and attempt to fly by climbing to the top of the tool shed. Or your daughter may think this is a great time to finally scale the lemon tree, and fall out backside-first.
- If he says ‘I did wipe my butt!’ check anyway, even if you are in the middle of writing an intense sci-fi action scene. There are some things you just DO NOT want to have to scrub out of your living room sofa at the end of the day. And if it smells bad – don’t wait…track down the offending child and change them immediately. Again – there are some things you do not want to scrub out of the sofa at the end of the day.
- Matchbox cars are like landmines – DO NOT ALLOW THEM INTO YOUR OFFICE. They will end up under the cushion of your chair – unpleasant. Or beneath the wheels of your chair – dangerous. Or scattered around the room waiting for that moment when the kid screams like a finger just got cut off and you bolt across the room not looking at the floor…remember – landmines.
- Be careful with this statement and use it only when another adult is in the house: “Leave me alone unless someone’s bleeding or stops breathing.” This opens up many opportunities for children to explore other possible ways to destroy your home.
- Last but most important. Suddenly you can concentrate and you’re on a roll, having pumped out 500, maybe 1000 words without one single interruption. Because it’s quiet…too quiet. Children that are too quiet are either hiding because they broke something, or they are sitting under the dining room table popping Children’s Vitamins like candy, perhaps they are giving the dog a haircut – or using the cat de-shedder to make bangs on their own head. They may be drinking the sippy cup they found under the sofa from last Tuesday, dumping everything from your closet to get to the ‘good’ dress-up clothes, seeing how far a battery goes up a toddler nose, or they may not be breathing at all. Unless you have an infant who is sleeping in a bassinet at your left elbow while you work, assume that silence is dangerous.
And yes, that’s dental floss. Call it simple mummy curiosity.