A Mind of Her Own

6:59 my alarm goes off. I\’m meant to get up and write, per usual, but I am just so danged tired. I didn\’t go to bed exceptionally late, but my body is in Summer Hibernation Mode (you teachers probably understand) and everything in my person is saying, \’Will you turn that thing off and shut your eyes?\’ And so I do. Just for a minute more, you know. Just to rest my weary head for a moment.

7:25 I wake up to the sound of my daughter whining. Her sleep schedule has been about as predictable as a shark in a blood tank these days. One day, she\’s up at 7:00, the next 9:00. Today, she\’s chosen a happy medium of 7:25. For all I know she\’s been up since 5:42, psychically communing with her lovey and willing the sun to come up. But at 7:25 she voices her conscious state and is ready for some human interaction. I guess Bunny and Kitty aren\’t good conversation today. Then something changes and she gives up and starts babbling instead of whining. This I can deal with.

7:35 she\’s whining again and I feel guilt creeping in. Up I get, toss on some clothing, kiss my wife, and go to collect the child. I knock, step in and immediately she starts pointing and yelling, \’Mama! Mama!\’, promptly shushing herself because obviously mama is still asleep but she wants to keep yelling, \’Mama! Mama!\’. We have our usual first-thing-in-the-morning chat about her sleep and her stuffed animals and what we\’ll be having for breakfast. 60 Minutes deep type stuff. There is a dirty diap.

7:44 she\’s in her high chair and the waffle is cooking and I can\’t remember how to carve a mango.

7:46 the mango isn\’t ripe enough to eat and I\’m wishing Publix had a stupidity clause in their return policy. Even a mangled fruit clause would do.

7:58 I\’ve finished my breakfast and my daughter is still working on hers because she can\’t stop babbling and it\’s hard to eat and talk efficiently at the same time. I wish I\’d gotten up to write, even if it would have only been for 20 minutes or less. Then I remember that I can still write with a toddler present. By God, I am a writer! Hemingway could write through hurricanes, I can crunch some letters while my child eats a waffle and a fried egg.

8:15 I\’ve been writing for 10 minutes now and my daughter has come to understand that my attention is not fully fixed on her so she\’s making a big deal of everything. She wants to listen to Pierre de Gaillande but says \’No\’ at every song I flip through, then demands more when I turn off the iPod. I bang out a few more words and we move it to the living room.

8:25 I now know that my dog is not a suitable vessel to provide my daughter with the attention she craves and that it\’s hard to watch a toddler chase a dog and write at the same time and that she\’s soiled herself.


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