Thursday, January 18, 2018

Writing with Kids

         This week we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. day on Monday, then today (Tuesday) Texas had an ice storm. Elementary school, cancelled. College (supposed to be the first day) closed. Tomorrow is questionable. The weather folks predict cold through Thursday. After four days at home already, my children’s patience with me and mine with them is…dwindling. Send wine.
Always an patience.
         I’m currently editing my second book. I usually do this in the afternoons before I pick up the boys or after they have gone to bed. Today, everyone was currently self-entertaining, so I took out my binder and started working – I prefer editing on printed pages rather than the laptop. I was at the kitchen table, binder open, reading, writing notes in the margin, with stickynotes flying on pages with edits.
Sometimes fortunately, sometimes unfortunately, my kids tend to congregate near me. We played hide and seek yesterday. Daddy was it. I hid under the kitchen table. Suddenly three of us were under the table. #ThatsNotHowThisWorks
What follows is 10 minutes of me editing for theme and timeline.
         Silas (7): Mom what are you doing?
         Me: Working on my book.
         Silas: Can I work on a book too? Can I have some paper?
         Me: (distracted) Sure, go grab some off the printer.
         He returns.
         Silas: It’s empty.
         Me: Then open a ream of paper.
         Silas: What’s a ream of paper?
         Me: A package. A package of paper.
         Silas: Where are they?
         Me: In front of the printer.
         Sage (5): Toast please?
         Me: Let me finish this page and I will make you some toast.
         Silas: I can’t find the paper.
         Me: Then use a composition book. There’s one right there.
         Silas: But I want paper.
         Sage: Toast?
         Silas: I need a pencil too.
         Me: They’re in the drawer.
         Silas: Which drawer?
         Me: (death glare) Seriously? The drawer with the pencils. Under the microwave.
         Sage: I need to potty!
         Me: Then go to the potty.
         Silas: When you’re done can you get me paper?
         Sage: Wipe please!
         I get up to help Sage. While I’m up I grab Silas some paper.
         Silas: Mom, look at this! (He shows me his pages of his book)
         Me: Um hm! Very nice work. Keep going.
         Sage: Toast? I eat you noodles?
         Me: Yes, you can have the rest of the noodles (I purposely made enough for both of us because he usually steals mine).
         Silas: Look at this dinosaur. It’s like, so, this guy is a T-Rex and this guy is…how do you spell Allosaurus? And they’re fighting and there’s blood (scribbles red all over the page) Rahhhhh! (crumbles his paper up loudly and throws it) And now they’re both extinct.
         Sage watches a repetitive cartoon on his tablet and begins singing the theme song at the top of his lungs. Again. And again. Louder. Faster. Until he’s finally just spitting “pew pew pew, pewpewpew” and spinning around in a circle. And my binder is closed, my arms folded across it, head resting in my arms.

         This is why I don’t work on writing when they’re around. And I am in awe of parents who care for their kids at home while getting stuff done. Because…that was just 10 minutes.

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