My family is on holidays, right now. Which means the kids roll out of bed at around 9:30, and tap on the bedroom door to ask for breakfast near 10. My husband shuffles out to arrange cereal and granola bars, pour some glasses of juice, and then shuffles back to bed for an hour or so. Sometimes I get up then, too. Usually I don’t. From September onward, I average about five hours of sleep per night, so I make up for lost time, when I can. And my kids are pretty clear on rules and consequences, so while I have woken up to Lego mine-fields and Playmobil explosions, Treehouse TV turned up past nosebleed, and Fruit Loop trails à la Hansel & Gretel; they haven’t toilet-papered my house, painted my walls, dug warrens into the potted plants, broken out the nail polish, or tried to “cook” anything more complicated than bread-and-honey. (All things I totally would have done if my Mum ever tried to sleep in.) They’re really proud of themselves, when I come out and tell them I had the best sleep ever. (Thanks for playing so quietly, guys!) Sometimes, though, when we’re cleaning up together, still in our jammies, my hair squished flat on one side and pointy on the other, my eyes gummy and torpid behind thiourethane lenses, my kids wake me up all the same:
Yesterday, I said, “Danica, where’s the box for these? Did you leave it in your room?”
“Uh, my brother has it. No, it’s beside your computer. Look!”
“Got it.” I said, undertaking the re-packaging of hexagonal colouring sticks with fumbling, de-caffeinated precision.
“Are you going to use your computer today?”
“Probably. I use it to check the weather and see what my friends are up to. Maybe see if the rinks are open to go skating?”
“Well, duh.” She stacked up some books to return to her bedroom. “You don’t have any school work, though, right? So, how come you’re not working on your story anymore? You didn’t finish it, did you?”
“Not yet, no.”
“You should finish it. You always tell me to finish things.”
“‘Cause you won’t have very much time when school starts again.”
“And then you’ll be sad, if it’s not done.”
“Can we finish cleaning up now, please?”
I looked at the Fiction Project file this morning, and the date modified is November 26, which means I haven’t worked at it in over a month. I started dreaming about it again, last week. I’ll be sitting at the table and find myself staring into space, where different pieces of the story work together and come apart, and my husband makes jokes about watching the words scroll through my eyeballs…. I’d originally planned to have a draft of Part I ready by New Year’s, so I could then beg one of you guys to pretty-please give it a read and a rough edit and tell me which parts suck….
Danica’s re-building a Lego firetruck while Shelton makes a golf-cart out of K’nex. We’ll have some lunch and go toboganning in a little while, and then I’ve got some teaching to do. The playroom needs reorganizing, and the kids need more shelving in their bedrooms. I did my year-end banking, but haven’t even looked at my filing, and there is still a mountain of recycling bags and boxes in the front room. Beside the tree that needs de-decorating, along with the window films, and the paper snow flakes, and the festive preschool art. Nevermind the shirts that don’t fit, the bottle-depot returns, and the bags for clothing-recycling, Eco-Station, and Goodwill….
A thousand words. Before bedtime, tonight.