Excerpt from “The Marriage Bargain.”
“This means nothing.”
His body contradicted his words as he claimed her mouth in a fierce kiss. With one quick thrust, his tongue pushed through the seam of her lips to travel beyond. Her mind fogged, caught between the dull pain of his statement and the pleasure pounding through her in waves. She gripped at his hands and hung on, reveling in the dark male taste of hunger and expensive Chardonnay; rocking her hips upward to meet the hard length of his body; rubbing her nipples against his chest…
My own mind fogged as I tried to stay in the moment while my 5 year old screamed my title from behind me. “What!” I shouted back.
“Wipe my butt.”
Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me!
I shook my head. “No. You’re five. You need to learn to wipe your own butt. Mommy’s busy.”
“Are you doing homework again?” he whined.
“Yes. Go back to the bathroom.”
I saw from the corner of my eye he rocked back and forth on his heels, pondering. “At school I wipe my own butt because they say I have to. But you do it for me at home. You do it better.”
Are you kidding me?
I knew then I would not get back to the scene unless I did the task. I knew this was bad parenting 101 but I stormed into the bathroom, finished, and moved back to the computer chair. God, I loved my hero and heroine. God, I wanted this book to sell. God, I wanted ….
“Mommy, I want you to read this to me.”
I ignored him and swore I would not leave the scene. I had taken him to the park. Gotten him a movie at Redbox. Played Hungry Hungry hippos and already read books. I was officially done – retired from mommyhood for the night. “I read to you before. Mommy is working.”
The whine cut through me. Why did he have to inherit his father’s whine and not my Spartan ability to soldier through life without making noises? I huffed and spun around in my computer chair. “Listen up. Mommy has to do her homework tonight or mommy’s editor is going to get really, really mad and punish me.”
I swear – the kid’s eyes widened with excitement. “But I don’t get punished at school.”
“Yes, but when you’re bigger, you get punished.”
This seemed to worry him. “Then I don’t’ want to go to kindergarten.”
Crap – wrong move. “No, kindergarten they don’t punish you. You just have fun.”
Didn’t seem convinced and studied me with those big dark eyes. “I don’t think…”
My three year old came racing into the office in a testosterone, sugar rush that made him skid on the floors and crash into me. It was then I noticed he had no clothes on. “Look! I’m naked!”
I lost it and did the only thing I could.
I screamed for my husband.
Of course, he was on the couch with the remote and just looked confused. I explained that if he respected me as a writer and as a woman, he would get the kids out of the office for one lousy hour so I can work and maybe make some money writing. He still looked confused, ushered them out and swore he’d find the pjs.
Back to the book.
She lost control in those few moments, the ageless empty void for the past years temporarily filled with the taste and feel and smell of him.
“MOM! I want juice and dad said no, but just a little bit, please!”
They came rushing back, fighting over who got what juice and how much and what sippy cup. I looked at the time and realized I needed to be in bed soon and they were way past their bedtime, but they would not go to bed anymore without falling asleep next to me and then we transfer them to their own beds when they are out. (Please, no judgment here – I am doing the best I can.)
So, I turned off the computer, exhausted more mentally than physically and trudged to bed so they would get to sleep. My husband continued to look confused. “I thought you were going to get some work done tonight?”
I glared at him and shut the door behind me.
How do mothers have these great careers and spend time with their kids and still manage to do all the endless tasks that make up an ordinary life? It amazes me, confuses me, and challenges me. You know what I hate about the writing though? People think it’s a hobby. Oh, you write when you are inspired, right? Yeah, right, that would go over well. No books would get written. Or, oh you can put the kids to bed and write all night? Yeah, with 3 hours of sleep and only if you have a newborn is that acceptable. I can’t even write my name without at least 7-8 hours clocked in. Or how about, oh, you can get up early and write before work? Let’s pass on that one, too. Or, my all time favorite: when they begin to quote famous writers who managed this feat with even more challenges. Like Toni Morrison, who penned her novels back and forth on the train to work in longhand! I don’t want to do that. Anyway. I drive.
So, my bitch session is officially over and there is no easy answer. Except humor.
I write when I can. I write what I want so I am always interested. I like to write with a deadline because that makes me hustle and commit faster, so I try to put myself on my own deadlines to submit manuscripts or pen an article or short story. I blog. Anything to keep my relationship with the written word – my passion of all passions beyond my family.
Gotta go. I hear someone calling.
You’ll make it through, Jen. It won’t be easy, but you’ll make it.
I’ve worked from a home office for more than fifteen years, long before I began to write. When my children were little they spent much too much time watching Barney. “Mommy needs one hour. If you watch quietly, after lunch you can have ice cream.”
I’d be on the phone with a doctor and hear the pitter patter of feet approaching my office. “Excuse me doctor so and so. Would you mind holding for one quick second?” I hit the mute button before he could respond. Then I transform from professional nurse to crazed mother and scream, “Unless someone is bleeding you had better not come near mommy’s office.” The feet retreat. I hit the mute button again. “Thank you for holding…….”
It’s not easy. And when mommy’s home the children want mommy, not daddy. They still do. I’ve read how some writers Lisa Kleypas being one, get up early and write before their kids wake up. I’ve tried it, and it works. Give your children your full attention at night, cuddle…meet all the mommy requirements and then go to sleep early. It may be worth a try.
Good luck and hang in there!
Yes, I too, have encouraged them to sit in front of the television and bribed them with chocolate! Oh, well, we do the best we can. These years are priceless and I am really enjoying them as I go through the different stages. Thanks for commenting – I am going to check out your blog right now and link you up to my site once I figure out how to do it!
You the shit, girl!
Haha – if only!!!
OMG! This is an absolute scream. “Look at me, I’m naked.” The best blog ever. I think you should publish THIS!!
You would think I was a nudist in my prior to life. He got that from the older one – they like to just surprise me by taking off their clothes. Not a good sign…but makes for good writing! I will link your blog on my site here as soon as I figure out how to do it.
Great blog Jen – I will put into my favorites!
Am doing the same for you – I love your blog!
You would think it gets better when they are 22. It only gets more expensive to pacify them.
Yes, you’re right! All the technology presents will start. At least mine are excited now when I take them to dollar store!!!!