Is it bad that you would rather have your children interrupt you while you’re having an intimate moment with your spouse than interrupt you while you’re writing?
I am convinced that writers exude work-related pheromones. Much like the pheromones that pour off adults when they’re getting intimate that immediately inspire the baby to cry, these pheromones affect a non-writer’s subconscious mind and make them need their writer’s attention. Now.
It’s the only logical way to explain the family-writer conflict phenomenon.
I will wait for my kids to ask for something. If they don’t, I’ll try to pre-empt any potential situation I can think of – “Do you need a snack? A drink? Do you need me to get something out for you?”
“No, Mom. We’re fine.”
I sit down at my laptop. Or with a notebook and pen. A post-it note. Whatever. No one needs anything. I can write. I’ve even locked myself in the bathroom without needing to use the potty with my various instruments of creation. Maybe I need to make a few notes before the idea slips away. Perhaps I’m reading a book and I want to scribble something down to file it off as something to consider when I really get a chance to write scene X. Other times, I simply must write. My hands are twitching with need and my brain itches like some addict trying to go cold turkey and I MUST WRITE NOW.
It doesn’t matter why, or where. Subject matter is no barrier. Around about word 10, my body apparently produces a scent which drifts out of whatever room I’m in, finds a child and makes them inexplicably need my attention RIGHT NOW for something so very inconsequential, but that cannot be solved by any other person. I am required to break off whatever I am doing and address the maddeningly simple situation. “Can I play a game on my tablet? I want to tell you about black holes. Where’s my **insert item here**?”
Those of you without children are rolling your eyes. I can feel it.
Trust me. It happens.
And it happens with my husband, too. Ye, gods. He’s a grown man! I’m working, I’m writing. I’m in the zone. Are you seriously asking me if I know where any rubber bands are because you want to tie all your pencils together?
I get snitty. He gets snitty back at me. I try to remember that he can’t help it, my body was exuding an aroma impossible for his subconscious mind to resist and need something. Anything. The more inconsequential, the better.
It does nothing to keep me from being tempted to use that shovel and pickaxe in the garage. I’m landscaping, I think. I’m digging up tons of dirt and moving it around. Literally. I could totally hide the body.
I don’t, of course. Too much work to create a convincing false trail, too many people coming around to offer their condolences and speculate on why he left me for some slut in Connecticut (Or wherever. He travels.), and then there are the kids. Daniel is into gardening right now, so it would be all kinds of awkward if he accidentally dug up a patch of ground and discovered a body.
But when the kids interrupt that rare moment in which I’m with my husband, I have none of these psychotic thoughts.
Are my priorities really that skewed?
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