I have been a stay-at-home mom for almost two years now. While at home, I am not content with just the everyday tasks of managing a household. In between chasing my toddler around, I am writing my latest novel. It’s funny that when I wrote The Promise of Palmettos, my older child was a toddler as well. Maybe some people are saying that I am a glutton for punishment. I could say that it makes things more interesting. As I have blogged before, I hand-write my manuscripts. As my little one plays on the floor, I am outlining plots and building scenery with my words. Just when I have figured it all out in my mind and I’m about to put it down on paper, snatch! The pen is now in my baby’s little hand and he’s running away from me laughing. After retrieving my pen and getting him interested in a toy, preferably one that makes noise, I am able to put that thought that I miraculously kept in my head down on paper. At this point, there is a pungent odor in the air. I sniff again to make sure and with a sigh, I put my writing to the side again, hoist my child onto my lap and quickly change his diaper. Now that he’s fresh and dry, I get baby interested in another noisy toy and pick up where I left off. I am actually able to get a couple of pages written and suddenly, I feel a sharp pain on my head. I was just cold-cocked with a Fisher Price product. After the stars clear, I try to resume but there are several escape attempts from the designated play space, unauthorized wicker chest entries, a game of snatch and hide the t.v remote, and finally a scream as a result of the child trying to head-butt the corner of the ottoman. The boo boos are kissed and the baby is content once more. And so I pick my work up again and one or two sentences are written when finally I am being scaled like I’m the wall and he is Spiderman. Ok dude, I get the hint. At this point, I give up, put the work to the side and we’re on for the Wheels on the Bus.
The manuscript is put away for several hours as I tend to the household chores and the needs of my other son. People may ask why I don’t wait until naptime to write. Considering that I get up three times a night still for feedings and I have to get up at the crack of dawn, his naptime is my naptime. Writing with a small child is a process. I do a little at a time until its finally finished. It takes a lot of patience. When I look back on the whole process, I will wonder how I even finished at all and then I’ll laugh. I’ll laugh because by then it will be funny.