Summer, or Writing With Kids Underfoot

I have a confession to make.  I really don’t like summer.

I am far too structured and organized a person to enjoy these long, lazy, empty, unstructured days.  And I have way too much to do. 

When the kids are home all day every day, as they are in summer, it’s rather like being at a cook-out at sunset.  The heat of the day begins to fade, and though everyone is still in their shorts and tees, maybe you’ve put on a white cardigan that looks really good with your tan.  So you start to relax and sip your wine, and then it happens.  Someone smacks at their leg, muttering, “Dang mosquitos!”  Well, now the party’s not so relaxing any longer.  Now you can almost hear that whining buzz in the background and some part of your brain is straining to hear it over the conversation you’re attempting to have with your friends.  Your skin tenses and starts to flinch; you look but there’s nothing there.  Any second, though, one will light on your skin and start to suck out your blood, and then the itching will begin…

That’s what it’s like trying to write when there are kids in the house.

Not that kids are blood-sucking creatures that leave you with itching welts that won’t fade for days.  At least, not my kids.  

But I find that I can’t fully relax and commit to my writing while they’re around.  Even my blog, which is why I’m now posting every other week instead of once a week or more. 

Because they’re floating around out there, buzzing in the background.  And any moment, it could all boil over into an argument that needs dealing with, or an empty belly that needs feeding, or a “Mom, can you drive me…?” or a “Hey, Mom, check THIS out!” 

I know that many of you who write have little kids, some of them even younger than mine.  How do you do it?  What tricks (besides nap-time or too much TV) do you use to snatch writing time from the clutches of your kids?

Today I sent them to their rooms with giant black plastic bags and told them to clean:  one bag for trash, one bag to donate, one bag to keep.  Mwa-ha-ha!  I had about three hours of near silence.

I may have to dump crap in their rooms once a week, just for this purpose.

 

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One Response to Summer, or Writing With Kids Underfoot

  1. Nancy Sima says:

    LOL! I love your last line…”I may have to dump crap in their rooms once a week, just for this purpose.”
    I agree, summers are really hard. It’s always the case that any routine I’ve established through the year falls apart fast when children linger about. I sometimes get up early and try to write while the house is still quiet. I’m not always successful getting up (ugh!) but when I do and get the work done, it’s a great feeling that lasts the rest of the day.

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