It's Saturday. I've got all day. My son's soccer game has been cancelled because of rain. I can write. I can sketch. I can blog! The problem: my wife has to work. She never has to work a Saturday, but this day, her company is sponsoring a science fair. So it's me and the Kolb, my 3-year old son together all day. But I'm determined. I can do this. I can care for the child. I can sketch. I can write. I can blog. As soon as I take him to the barber, get him some donuts and slip in his favorite video. No problem.
Time to write. I slip up to the computer. Spew out a few ideas.
"Dad. Dad. Daddy! Daddy!" He's screaming at the top of his lungs.
"I want some juice," he demands.
So, I stop, get him some juice. Cut him a slice of pizza cause I know that's his next demand. Back to work, I organize my thoughts.
"Dad. Dad. DADDY! DADDY! DADDY!" He's screaming again. My hairs stand on end.
"What do you want!" I'm screaming now, too.
"Gotta go to the potty!" He yells back.
"Well, go! You don't need my permission," I sceam. That was easy. Back to work.
"Daddy. DADDY! My hands are sticky, I can't turn on the light," he yells.
Tidy little fart. I give up. We potty. We take a nap together.
I wake up before he does. Great! I'll get in some sketching.
I do some initial blocking in of shapes. I'm working on a spread with the pig character for my next book, and I'm looking forward to further developing this character. I layer a piece of tracing paper over the drawing. I start sketching.
"Dad. Dad! DADDY! DADDY!" He's awake. He's yelling again.
"I want some juice," he's demanding again.
"I already got you some juice!" I'm seething now.
"I want some more," he says softly, with puppy dog eyes. I get him some more. Slip in another video. Maybe I can blog now. I thought.
I start to write. Slap down some ideas. Got a good one. I experience an "ah-ha" moment, the kind writers so often have described to me. I'm excited!
"DAD! DAD! DAD! DAD! DAD! DAD!" He doesn't stop. I'm livid. I'm going to kill him. No, I can't kill him, I love him. I'm going to beat him. No, I can't beat him, I value my freedom. I'm going to scream. I scream.
"WHAT! WHAT DO YOU WANT! DON'T SCREAM AT ME NO MORE. I'M BUSY. LEAVE ME ALONE. WATCH YOUR VIDEO. AND IF YOU WANT ME, BRING YOUR BUTT UPSTAIRS AND TALK TO ME. NO MORE SCREAMING!" I'm screaming like a madman with such force, my vocal cords feel as if they're going to burst. He says nothing.
"Kolb! Kolb?" I'm hollering back with a softer tone now. Still he says nothing, so I go check on him. He's sitting there. He's not crying, but I've hurt him. So I stop working. I tell him I'm sorry. We play a game. We do an exercise video together. Power yoga, so I'm all relaxed and ready for round two with him. It's now 8 p.m.-ish.
But my wife comes home. I can work! I can sketch! I can blog!
"Honey, I'm tired. I'm going to bed," she exclaims matter-of-factly.
Fine, I'm thinking. But it's bedtime for Kolb, too. I feed him. Put on his pajamas and march him to bed. Kiss him good night. "Good night, my man. I love you," I tell him, felling a bit guilty for my earlier actions and for putting him to bed on a Saturday night so early. None the less, he's in bed. I'll blog. "I GET TO BLOG!" my mind soars. I sit down. Open a file. Spew out a few ideas onto a blank page.
"Dad. Dad. Daddy! Daddy!" He's screaming.
"What!" I'm yelling back hoping the wife hears and feels sorry for having left me with the little bugger all day.
"You didn't give me my medicine, yet," he pronounces. Medicine, I think. What kid looks forward to taking medicine? I run some water. Drop in a tablet which takes about 5 minutes to dissolve. Give it to him and put him back to bed. I go back to work. Reorganize my thoughts.
"Dad! Dad! DADDY! DADDY, I have to go to the potty." Ahhhh! I'm burning. But we do the potty. Back to bed. Back to my blog.
Ring...ring...ring. The phone. It's my daughter calling from Phoenix.
"Hi dad, I've been trying to get you all day, she says." We talk for a short time. But her call wakes the wife who now want to catch up on all that's happened while she was out that day. Sigh.
I give up. Grab a beer, maybe 3, And I listen.
Tell me again. How do you real writers do it?