So I was at National last week, and attending the Leadership Retreat on Wednesday (I'm my chapter's president) and I get a text message from Child A.
(Mind you, this meeting I'm in has all sorts of info regarding new IRS rules governing non-profit organizations and we have to bring our chapters in line with National's stance to fulfill these rules, so I'm taking copious notes. Let me also say that the children were in the care of their grandmother because my husband had a last-minute meeting out of town that he had to attend, which had NOT been in the original plan when I decided to go to National.)
The texts went something like this:
Child A: "Mom, can I get a hamster?"
Me: "Fine, but you have to pay for it."
Child A: "Okay. Can Child B get a ferrett?"
Me: "NO ferrett!"
Child A: "Why not?"
Me: "Because they're too expensive and we have dogs."
Child B now takes the phone from Child A and starts texting me: "Why can't I? You always let Child A get everything they want!"
Let me state here for the record, Child A does not get everything they want, nor does Child B or any other Child I have. And especially not a ferret!
Me: "You can't get a ferret. Now I have to pay attention to my meeting!"
Child B: "Can I get a guinea pig?"
Me: "No guinea pig."
Child B: "Why not?"
Me: "Because we have two dogs who were bred to chase small rodents. It's not fair to them to have a guinea pig in the house."
Child B: "I'll keep my bedroom door closed."
Me: "No guinea pig. Get a hamster."
Child B: "I don't want a hamster. I want a guinea pig. Hamsters are too small. And I always do what you want me to do, unlike Child A. I treat you with respect and do all my chores. I have the money. Why can't I get a guinea pig?"
Now, I have to say, the kid put up a good argument. Knew right what to go for: respect and chores. And there was actually some truth to that test message.
So now I text my husband: "Child B wants a guinea pig. What do you think?"
But then I come to my senses, leave the meeting, and call Child B: "No guinea pig because the dogs already get on Dad's nerves - what do you think is going to happen when they're whining all the time to get into your room? It's not fair to Dad or the dogs. And it's not fair to the guinea pig when the dogs get in and kill it."
Child B sees the light through Mom's eyes. "Okay. So I can get a hamster?"
Me: "Yes. Fine."
Then Hubs texts back: "Guinea pig is fine."
Somehow I managed to copy the notes I needed, avert a rodent disaster and keep two kids happy, yet all the while feeling as if I was on that hamster's spinning wheel...
Then I get home from National and find out Child B's hamster has figured out how to get out of his tres expensive cage.
What does this have to do with writing? Two things: it shows the obstacles we "glamorous, feather-boa-wearing, chocolate-bon-bon-eating, frou-frou-slipper-and-robe-sporting" writers have to put up with, and it's going to make great fodder for a story someday.