Babysitting Blues

On iTunes: How Blue Can You Get by BB King

Heart Status: Sheer, sweaty panic 


Let's discuss. I don't want anyone to misunderstand. Yes, they are difficult, but they are also entirely necessary. Writing isn't writing, revising is writing. You're taking your craft and making it as perfect as possible. If you're lucky enough to have an amazing critique partner and agent (or hopefully one day an editor) to help you along, it's even better. 

So I don't hate revisions, I love them. 

When I get to do them. 

It's summer. A lovely, humid, sweat-dripping-from-the end-of-your-nose type of summer. I have children. Precocious, bored, don't-watch-me-for-five-seconds-and-I'll-set-the-cat-on-fire type of children.

So my husband has been doing a lot of "babysitting." We won't go into the wrongness of the statement - I know they're his children, too. But the man was born with an abundance of testosterone and very little patience. 

And the babysitting goes something like this:

I go into the bedroom, lock the door, put on my headphones and get to work. Four minutes later, I hear screaming. I turn the music up louder. 

Seven minutes after that, the beating starts. Either one brother beating the other brother, or both brothers beating on the bedroom door. I turn the music up louder still.

Another twelve minutes later, my husband opens the door to ask me if I think it's a good time to trade in the van. I point to the earbuds. And turn up the music some more. 

I get twenty minutes of peace. Then the bedroom door opens again, because my husband forgot to lock it when he left. This time it's my youngest, who just wants a hug. Just a little hug. Bottom lip poked out, arms outstretched, fists clenching and unclenching in that "gimmie, gimmie" way. 

Who can resist that?

A sweet little neighbor girl is going to start coming to babysit two mornings a week (until she reads this and suddenly remembers she wanted to take up basket weaving this summer). My in-laws are visiting for a few days to help out, which means I have to clean my house incessantly until they get here. 

Until then, I am considering:
a) bribes 
2) duct tape 
d) Benadryl slushies. 

Wonder what Elisabeth Shue is into these days? At the very least, she could do backup when I sing the blues. 


  1. Oh. My.

    Been there. Done that. Though Clint has learned the "I'm Concentrating, Don't Interrupt Me" look and usually leaves me alone. He's great about giving me huge chunks of time (takes the boys to the pool etc) but those boys...they don't know how to not come to mom first. Am I right?

  2. I vote for the slushies, and this is coming from the wife of a pediatrician. Hang in there, it'll get better. Oh, wait. It won't. Unless you consider the teenage years "better"...

  3. "they don't know how to not come to mom first"


  4. FWIW, it's not much easier being a guy and trying to revise. The Wife teaches summer school so it's Daddy Day Care during the day. Then, when she gets home, I feel guilty if I don't hang out with her and I also don't think it's fair to have her do the child stuff after working all day while I sat around and played with Play Dough. Every summer I think I'll get more writing done. The opposite always happens.

    Here's what I tell myself: Publishing moves like a one legged turtle. They can wait.

  5. The quickest way to get your child's attention is to get comfortable. =) One day at a time, my friend. One day at a time.


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