Thursday, June 28, 2007

10-Minute Writers: What I Do


I have been pondering a blog post called “Laws of Distraction.” I’ve not gotten around to writing it because, well, I’ve been distracted. Here’s the gist of it:

I go to do one specific task, but I get waylaid in one of two ways. One, I stumble upon something else that needs to be done before I can do the one thing I want to do. Two, I start doing something in the same general vicinity of the first thing. Or, three, a child, a husband or some other entity – the dog, the cat, the neighbor, the phone – enters the picture. I guess that means there are three ways I get sidetracked.

Here’s an example. I decide it’s time to do laundry. I bring my laundry basket from our room down to the kitchen level, where I want to grab the kitchen towel to throw in as well, and I see that I’ve got to put a new towel out. In doing that, I notice that Luke has left his chocolate milk congealing on the kitchen table. I’ve got to rinse that out and then put it in the dishwasher. But the dishwasher has clean dishes from last night in it, so I’ve got to empty it before I can re-load it. And while I empty it, I take out the spatula from last night’s dinner. I go outside to put it back under the barbecue. And then I need to cover the barbecue. And there’s the dog, wanting to go outside, where I am. So I go back to let her out. I go in, and get the rice cooker back into the dining room closet. And the dining room table has the scraps of paper from Sam’s latest Pokemon comic book she’s creating. I’m going to need to recycle those. So I go back out to the recycle can, which is filled.

I grab the recycling can to take downstairs with the laundry basket. I stop on the kids’ level to get their basket, too. And, of course, Luke needs help making the bed. (We’re earning marbles, so I have to slow down to have him help me rather than just make the damn thing myself in one-third of the time.) When we’re done with that, he wants help buttoning his pants because he’s just used the bathroom and the jeans button is just a tad too hard for him to do. I go to the bathroom to flush the toilet – ‘cause I know he’s forgotten – and I see the sink has toothpaste from Ryan and Sam. I wash that off – ick, with my hand – and then grab the lad’s toothbrush, toothpaste and cup. Finagle him into brushing his teeth. Yell at all of them to come eat their fluoride, cursing our water district for not including it in the water. Because they all take the fluoride, they get one marble (collectively), which I negotiate among the three to let Luke pick it out. Since he’s too short, it’s back to the kitchen where I get the bag down for him to pick a marble. And then I have to help count them because we want to get to 100 so we can finally, finally, finally go to the water park in Concord. This summer sure is long. What? It’s only been 13 days without school?

So now I go back to where I’ve left the now-overflowing laundry basket and the recycling can. Ryan helps me take them down – can he play Xbox, he wonders – so Luke of course wants to follow us all the way down. And the dumb-ass dog trips him going down. With his screams – exaggerated, yes, but loud and screeching nonetheless – pierce Sam’s ears…

[My time is up. It’s another installment of the 10-minute writing exercise, thanks to Charlene, everyone’s own crazedparent. This one was supposed to be one on everything I do for everyone else. Crap, I didn’t even make it down the stairs where the washer and dryer and outside recycling container are! See what other wonder women – and wonder men – do for others by checking out her site.]

7 comments:

Florinda said...

I think you've totally captured the spirit of the writing exercise. On the way to doing the laundry - for your family - you end up doing a bunch of other things - for your family. This was a lot of fun to read!

jenica said...

way fun to read and completely the truth. when people ask, "what do you do all day as a SAHM?" i don't they understand the laws of distraction.

bubandpie said...

Yeah. The laundry. My washer and dryer are in the basement, and it will often take me three trips before I actually remember what I went down there for.

(I feel exhausted just reading this post!)

Sandy said...

Oh I loved this, and am I laughing!

Lene said...

ANother post that I can definitely understand!

What fun would life be without distractions? haha

WkSocMom said...

Oh that was so great. Sounds so familiar, but I don't think I keep my calm as well as you do. And then when the kids want to "help" with the laundary it's a recipe for disaster.

Bubba's Sis said...

That is SO my life!

Rides to Heaven on a Gyroscope

A couple of months ago, I saw a client I hadn't seen for a number of months. Like more than a dozen people have in the recent past, she ...