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"What's Past Is Prologue." - William Shakespeare

Thursday, February 09, 2017

(Not) Writing With A Grade Schooler

So, I have (Not) Writing With An Infant and (Not) Writing With A Toddler. It's time for, (Not) Writing With A Grade Schooler! All of these lists will be part of my upcoming non-fiction humor book, GSD vs. Everything (possibly tweaked, of course). Enjoy, and please allow yourself to laugh!

WARNING: What follows may or may not be a work of fiction. Tread carefully into the realm of possible hyperbole. Do not let any likely truth scare you from either a) writing or b) having a child (though it may scare you from doing both at once). I take no responsibility at the emotions the following text will invoke.

1. Wake up, tired and bedraggled, but determined to get some writing done today (I know, I know).

2. Yay! Grade Schooler has the day off of school. You imagine how much writing you'll get done since she can entertain Preschooler.

3. After breakfast, you send both kids upstairs to play nicely, and open your work-in-progress. Here I come, words!

4. Clearly neither child knows the definition of the word nice. Five minutes after they've scampered upstairs, Grade Schooler shrieks, "Stop it, Preschooler! Leave me alone! I don't want to play with the doll!" Her tone curdles your insides, and you mourn the words you were just about to write.

5. You call both kids downstairs. Grade Schooler gets a lecture about how to treat her sister -- it's not nice to yell at her. Treat her like your friend. She's the only sister you'll ever have (seriously -- no more kids!). Even though she apologizes and said she won't do it again, you know she will. You just hope it's not today again. Then you tell Preschooler to listen to Grade Schooler if she doesn't want to play with something. Preschooler says, "I understand," in her garbled English, but you know she lies. She's saying what you want to hear. Smart ass.

6. Again, you send the kids upstairs, insisting they don't argue. This time it only takes two minutes before Grade Schooler is calling down to you. "Preschooler bit me!"

7. You trudge upstairs, put Preschooler in a time out, check on the status of Grade Schooler. No bite marks... this time. Preschooler gets her own lecture after the time out, and you wonder why you even try because you know she's going to do whatever the hell she wants.

8. Just as you're about to go back to writing, Grade Schooler asks for a snack. So everyone goes downstairs and you don't even attempt to write while they bicker back and forth during snack time.

9. Nap time for Preschooler! Now you'll get some writing done -- it's always the best time to do it (and you hope she doesn't give up her daily nap until she's in school full time). You tell Grade Schooler you need to get some work done, so she should read quietly. She's agreeable and settles down on the couch with a book.

10. Finally, you turn the music on and get into the world you're writing. Look at the words fly! OK, flying is relative. If you haven't written anything all day, 10 words is flying.

11. Grade Schooler laughs. And this isn't a quiet giggle. Nope, it's a loud, I-want-to-get-your-attention laugh. It's a trap. And you're dumb enough to fall for it by asking, "What's so funny?"

12. You're then regaled by what she just read in her book. Of course, you have no clue what she's talking about. Nor do you care about the story she's reading because you want to continue writing your story, damn it. But she ends up telling you about not only the book she's reading, but the whole series, which is long as fuck, before you can get her to shut up.

13. You tell Grade Schooler to go read upstairs. She obliges, but knocks something over in her room and wakes Preschooler up. Guess it's lunch time.

14. After a too long lunch, due to Preschooler's desire to take two hours to eat, Preschooler plays happily on her own. Now you can get some writing done. No fighting!

15. In a few minutes, Grade Schooler starts wandering around downstairs, looking lost. She declares she's bored. You can't understand because you're never bored -- you always have a novel to write since you can never seem to make progress on it. Plus, she has a ton of books, toys, and art supplies bursting out of her room to keep her busy for the next two decades. You point this out. She doesn't want to do any of that.

16. You're about to tell her to go do it anyway, when her face lights up because she remembers something. Then she tells you about one of her friends and what he did the other day (you're not sure what because you're not really paying attention) in great detail. You've never met the kid she's talking about and couldn't care less about the stupid shit kids get up to if they aren't your own.

17. Finally, you get her to stop talking about her friend. But as you're turning to look at your screen, she says, "Oh I have homework I forgot about!" Yup. And it's due tomorrow. She needs to cut pictures out of magazines and paste them on a paper and do who-the-hell-knows what with them. Magazines? You don't subscribe to any, since between the junk mail, your writing, and the amount of paper Grade Schooler's teacher sends home, you already have a major paper clutter problem.

18. You bundle Preschooler and Grade Schooler up and head out to buy some magazines that are just going to get cut up.

19. Once you get home and get Grade Schooler set up to complete her homework, Husband calls and asks what you want him to pick up for dinner because he knows full well you never have time to cook anything between the kids and writing. Writing? What writing?

20. Time for another snack. You then put Preschooler in front of the TV so you can get a little writing done before Husband gets home. Grade Schooler is told to finish her homework. She whines and claims it's no fair that Preschooler gets to watch a show and she doesn't. Husband calls again and instantly hangs up when he hears tears in the background.

21. Grade Schooler finally calms down and concedes to finishing her homework. You proceed to triple your word count. 30 words! Hot damn! Then Husband walks through the door with dinner.

22. You realize you've written less today than when you're home alone with Preschooler. Over dinner, Grade Schooler reminds you that she has Friday off this week as well. Yay...

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