I sit down on the couch, with my feet on the edge of the coffee table, my red marble notebook against my pen. Slits of morning sunlight come in through the mostly closed blinds, which is good because BG is climbing on the glider to turn off the light so her dolls can sleep.
Baby sister is cruising around the coffee table with a smile on her face, grabbing everything that doesn't belong to her, ignoring the huge pile of baby toys around her feet. I glance up from my book nervously, waiting for her to grab the toy that her sister is currently playing with.
I manage three more words before the screaming starts. "No! No, baby! You can't play because you're a baby!"
And then my oldest daughter is repeatedly hitting my youngest daughter in the head with a wooden magnetic Melissa and Doug dress up doll.
"BG!" I yell without getting up from the couch. "STOP!"
Everyone freezes. The baby turns and looks at me as if to say "What the heck??" before she starts to wail.
"It's mine, it's mine, it's not fair," trills my three year old, and I wonder for the millionth time how she got the exact wrong message from that Llama Llama book as I set down my pen so I can parent. Again.
There was a time in my life when I used to write in coffee shops. When I would bring a notebook and buy a latte and sit at a table and just write for no reason. No goal. No project. Just me and the notebook and the pen, spiraling deeper and deeper into the idea the longer I sat with it.
That was before leaving the house meant pumping, prepping snacks, and coming home to a huge mess, two cranky children, and a crankier husband.
It was longer ago than that really. It was before there was a kitchen to clean, work lunches to make, papers to grade. Before there was a husband to snuggle with and watch TV at night. Before there was anyone else who depended on me, who shared this life with me, who craved my presence.
It's not a time I wish I could go back to. Really.
But sometimes, as I sip my reheated coffee, turn on Thomas, and try to position my notebook around my sleep nursing baby, I wish there was a way to reclaim that magic from within the chaos.
Linking up with Just Write