Writing with Kids

I’m so motivated right now. I woke up feeling on top of the world. I’m ready to write. The ideas are running through my mind like wildfire. Give me that keyboard!

“Good morning, Mummy.”

A quick delay for good morning cuddles and kisses. There’s nothing quite like a cuddle from my four-year-old. He puts his whole body into it. I give him more cuddles, get him dressed, make him some breakfast, and get him settled watching one of his favourite shows in the lounge room. (Octonauts, you rock.) Then back to the computer to get started. My fingers are jumping with barely-restrained energy.

“Waaaaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaaah!”

Baby’s awake. A long, soulful look at the computer screen (I haven’t even opened my WIP yet) and then into the nursery. Cuddles for baby, change his nappy, get him dressed, and take him out to the lounge to feed him. Big Brother cuddles up next to me, alternately snuggling with me and kissing Baby on the head. I smile and enjoy the moment. There’s plenty of time to write later today–how often do we get moments like this?

Baby’s fed and burped. I put him on his bouncer, get him settled, grab myself something quick for breakfast, and sit back down at the computer. I open my WIP.

” Mummy, can you play with me? Please?”

I look at Big Brother’s big blue eyes and hopeful expression. “Just for a few minutes, then Mummy needs to get back to work.” We play cars. And then blocks. And then I set him up with a new colouring book and some crayons, and escape back to the computer. It’s mid-morning and I’m not even dressed. I weigh up the options, and then dash off for a quick shower and some clean clothes. I’m back within 15 minutes. I sit down again – now I’m ready to get started.

“Waaaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaaah!”

Seriously – Baby’s hungry again?! Maybe he’ll go to sleep if I give him this dummy. No. Right. I get up, cuddle baby, change his nappy, go into the lounge room and feed him. Big Brother plays with a bat and ball, and I keep reminding him to be careful not to hit it towards Baby. Eventually the inevitable happens. Baby cries. Big Brother cries. I feel like crying. Cuddles all round. Baby calms down and drifts off to sleep in my arms. Big Brother calms down, but feels terribly guilty and keeps wanting to cuddle and kiss Baby. This wakes Baby up. He starts to cry. Big Brother starts to cry. I calm them both down, put Baby back in his bouncer, and cuddle Big Brother until he feels better. Back to the computer.

“Mummy, I’m hungry.”

Right. It’s almost lunch-time. I give Big Brother a chocolate bar to tide him over until lunch. My fingers are itching to get to work, and I want to capture the ideas I had this morning before my brain turns to treacle and runs out my ears. I sit down and rest my fingers on the keyboard. Then I realise that my computer has gone into Hibernate-Mode. I press the button to restart it.

“Mummy, I’m finished. Can I please have a chocolate milkshake, please?”

One chocolate milkshake coming right up. I give it to Big Brother, settle him back in front of the TV, and realise that I haven’t had my morning coffee yet. I stop by the kitchen on the way back, make some coffee, grab a chocolate bar for myself and head back to my computer. There’s a knock on the door.

I stand at the door while someone tries to sell me something and Big Brother dances around me asking them what their name is, and if they want to be his friend. I tell the salesperson I’m not interested and close the door. Big Brother looks like I’ve just kicked his imaginary puppy.

“Why didn’t you let my friend come in?” he asks plaintively. I feel like the worst mother ever. “I’m so lonely.” No, now I feel like the worst mother ever. I look longingly over at the computer and wish I could put words on a page just by thinking about them. Then I suggest to Big Brother that we play a game. One game of Pirate-Snakes-and-Ladders later, and he seems to have forgotten the trauma. Back to the computer.

“Mummy, I’m hungry.”

Lunch time. Damn it. And my computer’s Hibernating again. I switch the computer back on, head into the kitchen, and make a salad for Big Brother. My stomach growls while I’m doing it, so I make some for myself as well. I sit down and take a deep breath. What was my idea, again? I try to refocus my mind while I quickly chew my way through my lunch. By the time I’m finished eating, I’ve remembered the plot-twist I wanted to write this morning. I put my hands on the keyboard and type: The

“Waaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaaah!”

girl looked

“Waaaaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaaaah!”

over her

“Waaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaah!”

Okay, ignoring Baby doesn’t make him stop crying. And I have a headache. I pick up Baby, and take him to change his nappy. He’s done the biggest poo in existence. I get it on my hand. I do the icky-poo dance where I abandon wiping his bottom so that I can clean my own hand and dance around in a circle waving it madly as though that will get rid of germs. Then I finish changing Baby and use hand sanitizer – not as much fun, but much more effective.

Baby is hungry. Again. I head into the lounge room and feed him. Big Brother is still eating lunch, and I practice deep breaths in a vain attempt to enter some kind of creative trance while feeding Baby and watching the trains of Sodor Island on their latest adventure.

“Mummy, I’m thirsty.”

“I’m just feeding Baby, honey. Can you get your own juice out of the fridge?”

“But I want a chocolate milkshake.”

“I can’t get up at the moment. I’m feeding Baby.”

“Please can I have a chocolate milkshake?”

“No. Go and get your juice.”

Big Brother does as he’s told, and starts drinking his juice. I let my mind drift back to my WIP….

“Mummy, I’m all wet.”

Big Brother has spilled his juice all over himself. I tell him I can’t get up, and he’ll have to wait a few minutes. He starts to cry. I tell him to come over so I can cuddle him. He really is all wet. Now my shirt’s all wet, too. It’s insanely uncomfortable. I put Baby down so that I can take Big Brother and change his shirt.

“Waaaaaaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

No time to change my shirt. I leave it the way it is. I go back and finish feeding Baby. Then Baby vomits on me.

I settle Baby and he goes to sleep. I settle Big Brother in the lounge room. I go back to the computer. It’s gone to sleep again. Just like my brain. I can’t remember what my WIP is. It suddenly occurs to me that my shirt is covered in juice and vomit. I go and change. I realise that I’m almost out of clean clothes. So is everyone else. I put on the washing. Big Brother hears me doing it, and heads in to “help”. It takes almost an hour to sort the dirty clothes, put the first load in the washing machine, resort the dirty clothes, take the clean clothes off the line, re-sort the dirty clothes and tell Big Brother that they aren’t leaves and he can’t jump in piles of them, fold the clean clothes, put the kids’ clothes away, re-fold the clothes and tell Big Brother that laying them out on the bed in order of colour isn’t actually helping, and then put the last of the clothes away. Then the washing machine is done, and I can put on a second load and hang out the first. Then back to the computer. Finally.

“Mummy, I’m bored. Please can you play a game with me?”

I’d like to say no, but I don’t remember what I’m working on. I’m not sure I even remember how to un-hibernate the computer. Un-hibernate. Is that a word?

Husband comes home. I’m collapsed on the couch. Big Brother is staring at the TV screen. A half-finished game of snap is still laid out between us.

“Hi, Honey. How was your day? What’s for dinner? Did you get a lot of writing done?”

“Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

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3 Comments

Filed under Life With Kids, Writing

3 responses to “Writing with Kids

  1. So, so, so funny. Sounds like you are also living my life! (Although I am past the baby stage, sadly I am still changing dirty nappies for my 2.5 yr old, but that is another story). I particularly love Big Brother with the door-to-door saleman, I can picture my daughter saying those exact words! And I get the play with me, or sit with me on the lounge while I watch tv, and constantly the I’m hungry (amazes me that they are hungry all day but when dinner time comes for some reason they just don’t feel like anything).
    Anyway, just wanted to say that I loved the post… am off to subscribe to your blog right now!

  2. Welcome and thanks for your comment, Jody. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one! (Mind you, I’m sure it would be worse without TV to act as a distraction at least some of the time – does that make me a bad parent?? Loving the new ABC2!)

  3. Pingback: Hours for sale: Get ‘em while they’re hot! | The Happy Logophile

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