|Oh god, he's asleep! I can finally clean the house and |
write and do all the things I've been meaning to get to....
I don't have much time.
If The Contrarian wakes up, my chance to do some writing is over. He will kick and scream and demand butternut squash soup and milk and soil diapers at sonic speeds. If I suggest that his cranky mood is because he didn't get a long enough nap and he is still tired, he will use his power on me. "I am not!"
My mother–in one of those moments that at the time you simply can't believe, but later come to realize was simply them treating you as an adult–once looked at me across a plate of $2.99 pancakes and eggs, narrowed her eyes and said "You know how to really be a writer?"
I perked up at this. I was in my teenage rebellion, everything-about-you-smells-like-mothballs-and-wrongness stage, so getting me to perk up about anything was an accomplishment.
"Never fuck," she said.
"Mom!" I said, as if that weren't a word I could use three or four times in a well constructed sentence out behind the F building during lunch.
But the words had been spoken and they had more sagacity than I care to admit. I've spent most of my life trying to deny their irresistible veracity. Even now, in a life I have set up to write, and a circumstance I would not alter, even had I the chance, it is not actually summer school that is driving me to the precipice of insanity. It's everything else that was already there before summer school strolled into town with its fifteen hours a week.
Five more weeks. Five more weeks of screaming in panic. Of coming home from work and face planting into bed. Of waking up to take baby, passing off baby to get to work, coming home from work to do housework, and wrapping up housework to get to bed in time. Of trying to write like the wind Friday through Monday so that I have something to show for it instead of three days of dead air and reruns.
I swear this realization just creeps up on you. I was literally sitting there last night after trying to play some Steam Summer Sale video games for a couple of hours (even though it was a guilt ridden experience and now I feel further behind) and I was thinking to myself, "Why is this year so bad?"
"It seems like last year was bad," I thought, "but it was manageable. I got posts up and felt a little busy, but it got done. I was always rushed, but I never felt like I couldn't handle it. But this year, it's like I can't catch up. Something major must have changed between last year and this year.
I don't begrudge this little dude. Actually he's all kinds of awesome. All the clichés about how they change everything are true. They aren't true in a magical pixie fairy kind of way, though. They're true in a horrible mind controlled, alien invasion way. Their little pheromones get into your brain, produce oxytocin and shit and rewire your whole neural network so that you can't help but love them. They make you care. Pretty soon the little bastards are always on your mind and you can't wait to see them, and you start saying corny shit like "You've changed my whole world little guy!"