Thursday, April 21, 2011

How do people with kids write?


The other night my nephew and niece stayed over. Tom is six and Meg is four, and for some reason a sleepover is really exciting to them. They haven’t quite figured out that all they do is have dinner, have a shower, read books, and go to bed…just like at home. Anyway, I figured I’d chuck them in the shower and have at least ten minutes to catch up on my email or something. Just ten minutes. And then, from Tom:

Aunty Jen…

Aunty Jen…

AUNTY JEN!

AUNTY JEN! 

AUNTY JEN! I HAVE TO TELL YOU SOMETHING REALLY FUNNY!

AUNTY JEN, TODAY WHEN MUM WAS BUYING ME A BEAST QUEST BOOK I SAW A CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS BOOK CALLED CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE PERILOUS PLOT OF PROFESSOR POOPYPANTS!

And then the neighbours knew as well.

And Meg sings in the shower. What she lacks in tone she makes up in volume. And what she lacks in lyrics she just makes up.  

SING A SONG OF SIXPENCE
A POCKET FULL OF WINE…

Then they played some sort of weird game, still at top volume.

SHE FELL IN THE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT!

SHE’S DEAD!

YEAH, SHE’S DEAD!

Bring on bedtime.

So for those of you with kids, kudos. I have no idea how you do it! 

Tom and Meg - not always this cute. 


14 comments:

  1. Slowly. Generally by grabbing a few minutes here and there. Like when the kids are playing in the bath, I'll write in a notebook while I watch them. You get used to it. :)

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  2. We wait for that wonderful moment when they're finally asleep. And have very messy homes.

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  3. Also, children are much more interested in their aunts than their parents. My son basically ignores me these days. :)

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  4. That is adorable! My kids are 9 and 15, so it's easier, but my nephew is 4, so whenever he's over, nothing gets done.

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  5. I know! My niece and nephews are 6, 3 and 14 months. When they're over all plans of productivity go right out the window, but at least with all the running around I do with them I get my exercise those days. Upside!

    Your niece and nephew are adorable by the way.

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  6. It's truly one of the bafflements of the universe.

    I'd have my nephew and nieces over for just an afternoon, and immediately have to take a nap. Everything is full volume, at full tilt. If we could only harness the energy that dwells in a three-year-old.

    But they do teach us well about a sense of wonder and spontaneous creativity and not being afraid to sing loud.

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  7. Sarah, I have the greatest respect for writers with kids! I can barely organise my own schedule, let alone fitting in theirs!

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  8. Lucy, Hmm...my home is already messy, and it's a kid-free zone most of the time. I instinctively distrust people with neat homes!

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  9. LG, I don't know if it's that aunts are more interesting...it's just that we're more likely to load them up with sugar and to hell with the consequences!

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  10. That's true, Cacy! There is a lot of running around involved.

    And, yeah, they are adorable. And yeah, I might be biased!

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  11. Matthew, ah...four year olds! They never stop, do they?

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  12. MC, I love what you said about the sense of wonder kids have! It's so true, and it's a shame we tend to lose it when we grow up. Kids are so open to new experiences and new ideas. And they also love hearing weird, fantastic stories that their crazy aunt makes up for them!

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  13. Aloha Jen,

    Hilarious, as I knew it would be with an opening like that! We've got a 4-yr-old, 19 month old and a third boy will be off the printing press in January...!

    I USED to think that, as a stay-at-home dad, I'd write The Next Great American Novel, now I write at night until my wife comes to lift my head (and drool) off the keyboard!

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  14. Aloha, Mike!

    I love kids, and I really admire anyone who can get any writing down with kids in the house. Paticularly preschoolers!

    Congratulations on number three, and I'm sure the great American novel is just around the corner. Maybe when the youngest starts school!

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