"Calgon take me away!" was the slogan for a television ad that seemed to annoy more mothers than serve them. It showed a woman locked in her bathroom, soaking in a bubble bath blisfully ignoring her children's calls. In my world the bathroom is no sanctuary. Not even recently installed locks can shelter my weary body and over sensitive ears from the constant cries of "Mom!"
In the B.C. years bathroom doors were never shut; not even when creating the foulest of odors. Now as soon as I am seated on the toilet, the bathroom becomes an instant petting station. Pets that never come when called line up at the door to demand belly rubs and the very awkward lap sit.
Locks are no barrier to the wiley observations of the insistant child. From infancy my son has defeated all locks and child gates. I swear he learned to work the drop rail on his crib before I did! In a home with three rambunctious boys there is no "Calgon" moment.
I hide in my room, trying to find my writer's voice. I have plenty of concepts but the mind won't slow long enough to tell my fingers which keys to type. Each sentence is a whiny echo of the sounds from the other room. "Momma! Isaac won't let me...."
I sit in the front room to supervise the wrestling and to keep them from killing each other. My laptop sits with me, a blank screen. Its not writers' block. Its Mommy block. "I'm hungry! Whats for dinner? I don't like that!" The writer's voice begs to emerge but is interrupted by Sponge Bob's annoyingly nasal laugh. Oh well, its time to supervise homework and fix dinner.
I love being a parent. I asked for it and sought it out. I am not alone in this endeavor but I definitely envisioned it differently. I saw myself more as the "Hi Honey, I'm home!" type, coming in after a day at work to a semi-orderly house with dinner on the stove. Instead, we both work. I work two jobs. She works with disabled adults all day and the last thing she wants is to handle the "Mom, Austin bit me!" crisis. As one friend asked "what doesn't happen at your house?" Every day is a new adventure.
After the endless trips for water, or bathroom or to say an extra good night the boys are finally settled in bed and the urge to write returns. The mind is ready and the body unwilling. The spouse needs attention. Wait, so do I. I need attention. We retire ourselves and hope the day unwinds gently as we discuss important things like what to do about the shotgun found under Isaac's bed.
Finally the moment arrives when the mind and body are both willing. "Voice? Hellooo, Voice I'm listening! Voice?"