It’s 2 o’clock in the morning.
My kids are going to be “awake” in four hours, and by “awake” I mean wandering down the hall like extras from the Walking Dead, whining for milk and breakfast and music all at once. They’ll wake up after their first bowl of cereal and tumble (literally) back down the hallway to stand in the bathroom and watch me get ready, commenting on everything I do like they’ve never seen it before. My two year old will yell “boobies” repeatedly even though I’m wearing a shirt and brushing my teeth. My four year old will helpfully let me know that I am doing it wrong. I will tell them both to get out.
By the time I’ve remembered to put the kettle on, the boys will want to go for a walk, but because the temperature is going to be below 0, I’ll refuse them and they’ll whine and ask for a movie…a movie that I won’t let them watch because I know that after we get through the morning and lunch and I crawl my way to nap time, there’s going to be a moment in the afternoon, right around the time I start to make dinner that “Mama mama mama mama” is going to want to make me scream, but I won’t scream, I’ll turn around from whatever I’m burning and say as nicely as I can, “Go turn on Wild Krats and don’t come in the kitchen again unless someone is bleeding.”
That will be my day today, because two hours ago, just when I was getting into bed, a four year old tiptoed into my room from a nightmare and wanted to cuddle. I pulled him into bed and settled him in-between my husband and I, then asked if he wanted me to read him a story. He closed his eyes and yawned, “No thanks” but before he drifted away into his sixth hour of sleep said, “How’s your short story coming Mama?”
The short story I was working on earlier in the day but quit because after an hour of writing the words weren’t working, and I was over it. The short story I told him I was going to work on after he went to bed.
“I didn’t do any writing tonight.” I told him. “I will tomorrow.”
“You should.” he said and then started snoring.
Guilt and a four year old can do some amazing things, but holding me to my writing goals isn’t something I would have considered them capable of until two hours ago when I left my warm bed for the couch in the living room, my computer, and an unfinished story.
I think it’ll even be worth the 9th cup of tea I’ll need to get through today.
Callie Armstrong © 2014