A Note on Interruptions

I've made one or two attempts to write today. During the first attempt, I was interrupted by one of my children asking for something. Or he or she might have been telling me something -- my memory does not serve me well on most occasions, and certainly will not oblige today. Anyway, I was interrupted. I closed the laptop and shrugged off the irritation and helped him or her acquire whatever snack he or she desired (usually, they want a snack).

The second time occurred after we'd been out of the house shopping. Shopping is an excellent way to interrupt oneself when one knows she should be getting work done, but the shopping was necessary and the children needed to be fed on something other than Nilla wafers, yogurt, and dry cereal. (I fed them pizza at Costco. The thrifty, homemaking part of me that does NOT get as much airtime as she'd like loves that I can feed three of us for under $5. And it doesn't come with a toy that clutters up the house. Bonus!)

Sidebar: Did I say the shopping was necessary? I had four items on my list that were necessary. FOUR. I came home with about five times that number in bulk goods that will take, no doubt, months-if-not-years to use because I neglected to remember what we had stashed in our supply closet. There is nothing that will make an aspiring poet feel less like a poet than a trip to one of these wholesale places. It's difficult to feel like you worry about the important things in life when you're excited about seeing a Polish Pottery display in the middle of Costco. I walked out of that store with a lingering sense of shame -- but I suppose most people feel shame when they exit a place like Costco with a cart loaded with impulse items like t-shirt bras and jojaba body wash.

Of course, since I began writing this entry I've been interrupted so many times I've lost count. The phone, the girl (asking about waking up the boy from his nap -- you know she's bored), the preparation of dinner . . . my own impulsive decision to listen to M.I.A. instead of reveling in 5 seconds of quiet.

And yet more interruptions. Rain on the grill, potatoes in the oven, more wine for my glass, potatoes out of the oven, children at the table, chicken off the grill.

And now I'm going to attempt finishing this entry -- or at least this beginning of an entry -- while my children finish dinner. The boy is complaining that he has a stomach ache. He's eaten all of his potatoes and nothing else -- that's why. He sits with his head in his hand and looks alternately woeful, gaze aimed at his plate, and then impish, when he sneaks a look at the television in the living room, where his father has decamped. He will eat his dinner, but not without asking every other bite if he can "look in the candy bowl now."

My son at dinnertime is the incarnation of my work ethic as a poet. I will do a multitude of small mundane tasks, because they are infinitely easier than writing, and in particular, writing well. It has always been easier for me to come up with ideas for writing projects than to do the writing itself. This blog -- which I've had for years but only just actively begun to use -- is easier than the act of writing poetry, too. I can do this while listening to my son repeat endlessly that he's done and that he wants "to look in the candy bowl now." (Not that it will be a good and cohesive piece of writing, mind you.)

I cannot write a poem when my children are in the room. I have tried -- I still try, because I'm stupid and will repeat my mistakes endlessly, it seems. I actually yelled at my daughter the other day because she interrupted my train of thought while I was working on a poem. I quickly apologized, of course, but I'd exposed myself, yet again, as the complete lunatic I am.

And now, I will go give my children a bath.

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