An Illustration of the Difficulties of Writing while Parenting
I had 30 minutes before I needed to pick up Kiki from school. Then I had 50 minutes between returning home from that trip and picking up Gleek and Patch. Link would arrive home by himself about half way through the 50 minute period. In theory, I had a good hour of time for writing, so I grabbed Calcifer and headed out back, away from the internet, to begin typing.
15 minutes later Howard came looking for me because he wondered where I was and to check that I had a clock to keep track of departure time for picking up Kiki. I did. Calcifer, being a laptop, is clock equipped. The conversation with Howard touched on a couple of other topics and together we used up 10 minutes. I wrote for 5 more and then closed Calcifer to depart for Kiki’s school.
Kiki and I talked in the car on the way home. I like being the one to pick up my kids from school. It gives me a chance to hear snippets of their day and to assess their mood so that I know how the afternoon is likely to go. Kiki was tired, but chatty.
We arrived home and I had about 50 minutes before the second pick up run. I grabbed Calcifer and headed back outside. The weather was too lovely for being indoors. Kiki followed me, mostly to find our kitty, but also because her thoughts weren’t done unspooling after the school day. She sat next to me and kept talking. I like talking to Kiki. She is clever and funny. We laugh a lot so long as we’re not in a contentious conversation, which this one wasn’t. We laughed together for about 20 minutes before she wandered inside to take a nap.
I had 30 minutes left for writing, with one likely interruption when Link came home. I began typing.
Kiki came back out of the house with the phone. Link had called from his school to tell me that he was staying late and would need a ride home as soon as he finished something up. It would probably be another 10 minutes or so. I stayed inside to be near the phone and settled to begin typing. 25 minutes left.
No sooner had I settled myself and woken Calcifer from sleep when the phone rang again. Link was done because the computer network at school was down. Could I come get him?
I drove to retrieve Link, a 15 minute round trip. We walked in together and spent 5 minutes finishing off our conversation and settling him in for the afternoon. I had 5 minutes before I was due to leave.
I typed, just barely hitting the post button on the blog post I’d written before heading out the door about 3 minutes late to pick up Gleek and Patch.
Total elapsed time: 95 minutes
Time spent driving: 30 minutes
Time spent talking (while not also driving): 40 minutes
Time spent writing: 25 minutes in five pieces.
The blog post I wrote was the one that precedes this one. I wonder if it would have been a better post if I’d been able to focus on it uninterrupted. I’ll never know, but I do know that I wrote today. I also do not begrudge a single minute of those interruptive conversations. They were each important for different reasons.
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