03 July 2007

Kids Are Para(not)Normal, Too

I haven’t done one of my not-particularly-patented “Day in the Life” timelines in forever, and lately I’ve been feeling the urge. Perhaps this is because, over the past year, the only items on the timeline would have been Mom stuff, which might be funny but not particularly writing-related. I also waited until, “Phone up mother/husband/sister and beg them to take children” was off my chart. Not that this never appears on my chart, considering how often my begging results in me getting a break (rarely), but it appears less frequently now. Maybe only a couple times a week instead of several times a day.

Another note about the following timeline -- what work is. For the sake of argument, let’s define ‘work’ as writing and revising my fiction and not critting for friends, child-herding, emailing (even though most are business related), skimming industry loops and blogs, reading my competition, participating in promo or marketing projects, cleaning house, writing this entry for the Beyond the Veil blog, or checking out fugly.com for the latest scary celebrity outfits.


7:30 am -- Awoken by daughter 1 (M, age 5) leaping onto the bed and laughing like a shapechanged hyena on crack. M had chocolate cereal, chocolate milk and a chocolate pop tart for breakfast. Daddy, who presumably fed her breakfast, is in Big Trouble when he gets home.

7:40 am -- Get daughter 2 up. She (R, age 14 months) is not morning person. Oh, no, she is not. Am relatively sure this has nothing to do with her turning into a vampire.

7:54 am -- Shuffle through living and dining rooms, tripping on blocks and toys and balancing cranky baby on hip. Pick up bugbite ointment M has been using for the numerous bugbites Daddy let her get.

7:56 am -- Tell M the blocks that have been out for 3 days must be cleaned up by the time I’m done feeding R breakfast. Wonder what that sticky icky stuff I keep stepping on in the dining room can possibly be? It’s beneath the baby’s high chair. Is it ectoplasm? Surely not. Assume it’s baby food.

8:03 am -- Still telling M the blocks must be picked up. Step in sticky stuff again. Find it on carpet and scrub with a wet cloth.

8:12 am -- Still telling M to pick up the blocks right now because I said so. Perhaps I lack that alpha-wolf touch? Add a snarl.

8:24 am -- M starts picking up blocks. I start feeding baby, who is crowing with hunger at this point. Hope that feeding baby after 8 am doesn't result in a gremlin.

8:39 am -- Step in another sticky spot. Gross! Toes feel greasy. Locate second spot. Contemplate. It doesn’t smell like food. It doesn’t smell like feline frolic. I have no idea what ectoplasm smells like, but I always imagined it would smell like Jello. What is it? Why is it so hard to clean off the carpet? Baby, in high chair, throws part of breakfast in floor next to me.

8:42 am -- Image of bugbite ointment flashes in mind’s eye. Ask M why there is bugbite ointment all over the carpet? Am told it is because there was too much on her finger. Inspect ointment tube and yep, it is nearly empty.

9:07 am -- Time for daily TV rations. Today, Dora and Teletubbies. Each show lasts 22 minutes. Normally this is computer time because the kids are entranced. Today R nurses through the entirety of Dora and insists on sitting in my lap during Tubbies. Try to boot up laptop with free hand and deal with Microsoft’s insistence that I update.

9:14 am -- Wireless internet connection fracks up (Battlestar Galactica reference!) in the middle of updating.

9:33 -- M asks, “How do you make a movie?” I intuit that she means the clips of real children on the Tubbies, and I make up something about entering a Tubbies lottery.

9:38 am -- M is now crying, “When do I get to be on the Tubbies?” Me: “Never”. M: cries more at the general unfairness of the Tubbies lottery.

9:45 -- M starts running amuck but claims she’s dancing with Teletubbies. Is asked several times not to leap over R, whom I finally convinced to sit on the floor so I can attempt to type with both hands. Alas, on the 3rd spazzy leap, M’s foot clips the baby’s head and the baby comes crying to me. M gets time out. M crying, baby crying.

9:54 -- TV time is over. Did not notice any Poltergeist-like incidents, but perhaps the Tubbies are actually demons from another dimension. M heads to her room to play, locking R out with the special half door. R is rolling on the ground on my feet and bawling like a cow. Oddly this is not tearful, it’s just bawling like a cow. At least she’s not rolling in my lap and bawling like a cow. Finally get computer rebooted, wireless established, and open WIP.

9:58 -- R climbs onto couch (new trick!) and tries to roll in my lap while bawling like a cow. Does not appreciate laptop’s presence.

10:00 -- Give up trying to work. Read email and industry blogs with my 1 free hand, with bovine accompaniment.

Current stats: Amount of work done during normal “productive” 45 minutes stretch -- zilch. Reflect that this is not unusual.


I was going to timeline the whole day, but look how long this is already! I know it seems everything here isn’t writing-related, but the difference between now and the past year is that I’m actively trying to work these days. In fact, I managed to get 27 minutes in the afternoon while the baby napped beside me. Then M woke her by slamming her door en route to the bathroom, again on her return, again to come argue with me after I chastised her for being so loud when the baby was asleep, and again, for good measure, because my chastising angered her.

Anybody else have days like this? Anybody else have almost ALL your days like this??

Jody W.

PS. Today is my birthday! Does anyone think I'll get the "gift of time" for my present today?? :)
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