ScAttERed (Are You There, Brain?)


My brain is scattered. It keeps jumping from one topic to another, like a car radio scanning through the range of frequencies, picking up one station for ten seconds before moving onto another one.

All days are very much the same. Nothing really happens, yet I am interrupted every fifteen seconds.

EVERYTHING happens. One precious moment after another, slipping away.

Today is one of those days when the kids are at home. No special plans, no special activities, just another Tuesday.

“Mommy, let's play!” Kai calls and I think I need to wash the bed sheets. I NEED TO. They smell. I know this because the other night when he woke me up right after she finally fell asleep I told him I needed to go to the bathroom and instead sneaked into their bedroom and crawled in his bunk bed. The pee smell probably comes from his mattress, but still – how long has it been since I washed their sheets? Or ours? 

I want to play the rhino game!” Kai pleads. “You are the lion and I am the rhino and Fiona is the baby rhino and you are trying to get her but I protect her from you with my horn.”

Not again.

“Gogurt, gogurt!” Fiona chants.
“No, baby, you've already had two. It's not even...” I look at the clock. “9am.”

It's not even 9am! How??

I start the first load and play the game. One time, two times, three times. One minute passes by.

Can we be done now?

“Again, again!” he cheers.
“Gan, gan!” she echoes.

Books, legos, crayons, playdoh, park, nap, peanut butter jelly sandwiches, stink bugs, spills, stains, tears, laughter, timeouts, hugs. Again. Again. Again.

“Mine!” “No. NOOOO!” “My turn!” “I want!” “Pleeeeeaaaase!” “Whyyyyy?”

I think about the book. I wrote twenty pages and feel like I can't find my voice. Of course I can't find it – I can't listen to myself without being interrupted. I can't listen to myself without interrupting myself.

They go to daycare three days a week – what do you do on those days? 

What do I do? I panic. I have a window of opportunity, oh god, write write write. WRITE! Wait...is that laundry still in the washing machine? What was it...three days ago? Won't make a difference now...write...

The characters are waiting, the story is laid out, I know what they need to say, so why don't they say it? Why are they looking at me with that uncomfortable smile?

What do you do on those days?

(I miss them.)

I have to go pick them up in three hours...in two hours...ugh, do I only have an hour left?

(I miss them.)

They yell in delight when they see me and throw themselves in my arms.

They yell at each other and throw themselves on the ground exactly thirty seconds later.

What was I thinking about? It was so worth writing down.

“BEDTIME!”

“Nooooo!”
“I am not sleepy!”
“Play! Play!”
“Waaaaaah!

Lights off. Good night kisses. Close the door.

“Moooooom!”

I sit by her bed until she falls asleep.

9pm. 

I stumble out and go to the bathroom. Oh geez, let's pretend I haven't seen the sink. Gross.

I am a zombie.

10pm.

I need to write.
I need to sleep.
Wine? Coffee? Chocolate.

I turn the computer on. The characters raise their eyebrows, surprised to see me.

Talk!

Nah.”

12am.

Please! 

Who are you kidding? Go to bed.” 

...

"MOOOOOOM!!"

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