Posted in Mama, Professor

To the Struggling Single Mom in My Night Class

 

Let me start off by saying, I am so glad you’re here. School is a tough goal. It will be even tougher for you, and I have no doubt that you are fully aware of the workload and the sacrifices involved. From where I’m standing, at the board, I see you undertaking school, scrambling to work your jobs, and always making sure your kids are cared for.

I’m impressed. I’m rooting for you, and I know a number of other professors who feel the same way.

As we start our semester, I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you a little about my policies. You won’t find this particular set of policies on the syllabus, since these only apply to my experience with the needs of the single mom student.

  • Yes, you can answer your phone and run out the door with it in the middle of class.

I’m not an unfeeling machine who will assume your call is about something shallow and, therefore, a needless interruption of class time and my teaching.

I assume it is important. I assume you are listening to the voice of a child, a caregiver, or one of the schedulers of your two part-time jobs.

  • Speaking of part-time jobs- you have to leave early on Tuesday? Because they changed your schedule again, and they don’t seem to care that you have class at that time? And I’m supposed to believe that?

I absolutely believe that.

I suggest tag-teaming for the notes you’ll miss with the other single mom in the second row. She will probably be in the same boat at least once this semester.

  • Oh, and around midterms, when everyone is absolutely dissolving into puddles of mucus from some type of plague, and you are firmly in your seat coughing, wheezing, and going through the large box of Puffs Plus you brought to class, I don’t want you to pop three Dayquil and tough it out.

Humans don’t learn under those circumstances, and I 100% understand that you already used your allowed absences on someone else’s sick days. You spent those “days off” wiping someone else’s nose, and now don’t have any allowances left for yourself.

Go home. You heard me. We will figure something out.

My school is a good school. It’s a caring place. We have policies for extra consideration for all sorts of populations, from our first-time college students, to our veteran students, to our disabled students, and more. I see no reason why a hardworking single mom like you shouldn’t also receive our consideration.

Don’t forget- there are teachers like me rooting for you.

 

Advertisements
Posted in Mama

The Cast of Characters

I’m developing this site for many purposes, but I find my writing consistently comes back to my family. Even what I have to say about the plight of adjuncts, accelerated remedial courses, and romance novel audiences all somehow loop back to my family.  Please allow me to formally introduce them.

Because I’m going to do it anyway.

blaster-noah

My son (AKA the Boy, AKA the Alien): my firstborn child is a sweet, usually laughing, ball of imagination. At this point in his life, his imagination is a dominant force for his personality.

He is a Power Ranger.

He has been bitten by a radioactive something and consequently has powers.

His imaginary lion friend has gotten so hungry that he suddenly wants to eat him (and that’s why he’s screaming and running through the house).

His Transformer friends want to come over all the time, but his mom (me) won’t let them come in the house (“They’re too big. They’ll wreck the place. Cars go in the garage.” “Aw, mom!”)

But, most of all, my boy is an Alien.

He very seriously informs people in the checkout line, at the playground, on our walks, at school, at the doctor’s office, and many more places that he is an alien from outer space. The backstory changes from time to time, but is always told with 100% sincerity. I’m pretty sure he believes he is an alien. Tears fill his eyes and his fists clench in frustration if you give him any indication that what he’s saying sounds like fiction.

This plays out in a couple of ways. He loves to tell me about his “rude alien brother” who is always doing terribly naughty things. “Mom, my rude alien brother was burping and burping and not saying excuse me.” Or “My rude alien brother hit me one time, and my alien dad grounded him for a hundred years.”

He also tells me about how he got here. Sometimes he will say he did something bad and his alien family kicked him out of their old house and that’s when I found him. Sometimes he’ll say his alien parents somehow passed away, and that’s why he’s mine now. He usually tears up a little when he tells me about it.

I let him talk about it as much as he likes, and I try to always add the same ending to his alien stories: no one ever gets kicked out of our family, and now that he’s mine, he will always, always be mine- forever.

doctor-josie

My daughter (AKA the Girl, AKA the Cat): My daughter is a surprisingly-aware, sweet, team player. She inherited her parents’ touchy-feely-ness and demands constant contact. She watches our faces and tries to make everyone happy.

In a few ways, I feel like I’ve been getting to know my daughter’s personality only recently. I didn’t realize how much my son talked until he went to school this year. I now understand that my daughter is actually not that quiet- she just couldn’t get a word in edgewise. These days, she tells me all about her imaginary scenarios and even cracks jokes.

Her indignant face is something I have always tried to capture on camera, but I haven’t quite gotten it. She’ll be playing, and I’ll say, “Oh, are you playing like a baby?” and she will snap to attention, put her hands on her hips, huff, dismissively wave one finger at me and say, “Mama! Don’t be rude to me! I’m a cat.

I love her feistiness, and I hope she keeps it. We talk about manners, but she’s still so little that not a lot is sticking. Currently, she’s in love with “bathroom words,” even though she knows she’s only supposed to say them in the bathroom. She says them all the time, everywhere. And did I say she “says” them? I should have said, “shouts.”

In public.

Whereas the Boy loves playing alone, the Girl is our little suction cup. If I’m in the kitchen, she’s in the kitchen. If I’m in the bathroom, she’s in the bathroom. Instead of just imagination play with toys, she prefers activities like play-doh, beads, coloring, paint, and, especially, cooking.

She knows that I won’t let her cook on the stove yet, but we bake together. No matter where she is in the house, if I open the mixing bowl cabinet, she’ll scream, “Mama, can I help yooooouuuuuuuu?!” There’s a blur of colors, and I turn to see a little girl already on her stool beside me with a big spoon in hand. She’s my helper.

20170219_134708

My husband (AKA Husband (I capitalized it. See?)): Husband is the best man in the world. He came to America to start his life over, several years ago. He says he wasn’t a nice person before he decided to completely start over and change his life.

I never met “that” guy.

Husband left everything behind in Korea and went soul searching. During a visit with his sister in America, he extended his stay to learn English, met me, and we had a whirlwind romance. Now he can never leave.

Ever.

Ever, ever, ever.

Husband is a full-time father, and the most capable housekeeper in existence. Our daughter gets her super-observant compassion from Husband, and I can see our little boy’s silly exuberance in him every day.

Husband is a caring person, and a lot of that comes from how amazingly observant he is. I know a lot of women who say their loves stopped paying careful attention to them when the initial romance died down.

Husband is the exact opposite.

If I change my hair, he notices. If I skip a meal at work, he somehow has something waiting for me when I get home. I actually have to be careful when I ride beside him in the car. If I’m imagining a scary/dramatic part for one of my books, he will notice the look on my face, and worriedly demand, “Honey! What’s wrong?”

He is a detail-oriented person with a work ethic that makes me tired just thinking about it. For example, I made a to-do list of things that need to be done over the next few weeks.

I cannot show it to Husband.

He will not rest. There will be no free time. Everything will have to wait until that list is accomplished.

But, somehow, this man-on-a-mission personality is different when it comes to our kids. He easily stops everything and plays with them. Not that they don’t drive him crazy (he’s a FULL-TIME dad, for crying out loud), but he is a very good, sweet, and loving father. The kids are convinced that he can do anything and fix anything. And he ALWAYS has batteries.

He also has an unending passion for BJs and Sam’s Club. If he could, I think he would go there every day.

all-three

And that’s all three characters.

My family is omnipresent for me. I introduce myself to my students every semester by trying to give them a little context with which to understand me, their new teacher. I am always sure to mention my family, since the topic will come up from time to time, and my loves deserve a proper introduction.

Posted in Mama, Professor, Writer

Work-from-Home Parents “Playing” on Their Phones

trying-paul
Sending an important email

This morning, my son plopped down next to me with our book, Jellaby: Monster in the City, and said, “Let’s read this one!” I was checking my syllabus and prepping a lesson plan on my phone. I told …

Source: Work-from-Home Parents “Playing” on Their Phones

Posted in Mama, Professor, Writer

Work-from-Home Parents “Playing” on Their Phones

This morning, my son plopped down next to me with our book, Jellaby: Monster in the City, and said, “Let’s read this one!”

I was checking my syllabus and prepping a lesson plan on my phone. I told him we could read it in a few minutes.

He huffed and said, “Just get off your phone, and let’s read!”

First off, he got a talking to about being rude.

Second, that talking to came after my spluttering, “I… Did you… I can’t even…” for a good couple of seconds.

The tone really caught me off guard. My son, who is pretty accustomed to how much I work from home, still sees me on the couch typing and scrolling away, and thinks, “Mom is playing on her phone again.”

Now, he’s five, so my angst there is short-lived. However, I am a little sensitive to this type of disrespect in general, since I do work from home a lot.

You don’t have to go far to see the disrespect I’m talking about. At the playground, a mama is scrolling on her phone when one of her little monkeys decides to try jumping off the swings at the highest possible point.

(Whoever designs playgrounds should not actually be trusted around children, btw).

She rushes over and kisses booboos, but the moms on the next bench are already murmuring that if she’d put her phone down once in a while, she would have foreseen this problem.

With her fortune-telling mind powers, I guess.

I often see and hear the assumption that all parents utilizing screens are selfishly addicted to their fun-time, leaving their little ones neglected, lonely, and sad.

This stereotype has the potential to label almost all academic career parents and work-from-home parents as negligent. But, the truth is: we have homework, y’all.

I’ve read that paper (too many times) about how heavy phone use isn’t good for us in general- socially, emotionally, and physically. These arguments, though, tend to focus on the added stress cellphones give individuals who are now, all of a sudden, able to bring their work lives and social forums home with them.

Since people like me were already in that boat (working from home at least part-time), all I can say is that the cellphone has made bringing my work home with me easier, far more convenient, than ever in the past. I can’t regret that my job, my professional development, and home technology use are all tied together. I’m grateful for the time I can be home with my kids, even if I am often busy on screen during this “extra” time together.

Yes, we should take time to be in the moment. Yes, children need our attention.

HOWEVER, does that mean I have to save all of the reading, grading, and writing (that I could do while my kids play at the playground) for late at night, when everyone’s asleep? ‘Cause I tend to fall asleep, too.

I can be in the moment. I can give my kids attention. I can also grade papers on my phone while they build rockets out of legos. That’s why I wanted my huge-screen cellphone in the first place. My laptop was difficult to maneuver around little kids (in fact, they killed one a little over a year and a half ago. RIP, Lenovo).

My cellphone is a compromise. I can tag-team with Husband more, if my workspace is flexible. Since he is the full-time parent, if I just locked myself away in my room to work, the man would never have a chance to breathe. The phone is so important in this arrangement.

We have family time, play time, reading time, school time, and meal times. All of these times are phone-free.

But, then, there are still, like, 6 more hours in the day. And I have work to do. My kids have playing to do. So, we do our jobs at the same time.

I wish tech-shaming pop culture would stop telling my kids that by being on my cellphone/laptop I’m “missing all the important things.” Not only does it cast me in a bad light in my babies’ eyes, but it is bound to make them feel twinges of guilt in their future pursuits.

The future is looking like a big screen. Our kids will need to be involved in screen worlds, at least as much, and probably more, than we are. If we are going to keep repeating that balance between screen and non-screen time is important, then we need to stop judging people for using screens. The cellphone is the future. It isn’t just a toy.

I mean, my facebook app is always open (of course), but so are my gradebooks, syllabi, lesson plans, writing notebooks, camera, and email. I’m willing to bet that’s the norm for a good many of us, and that’s not changing any time soon.

We need to set a more positive tone for these work-from-anywhere practices, before our kids join us in them.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Mama, Professor

17 Moments that Prove Being a Professor = Being a Mom

There are plenty of differences between being a parent and being a teacher of adults.

However, this list of similarities was super easy to make.

It took me, like, 5 minutes.

Let’s all think about that for a second…

17 Moments that Prove Being a Professor= Being a Mom

cap-lunchbox

  1. Checking homework just to see if student/kid actually did it.

  2. Limiting screen time so student/kid will 1.) focus and 2.) not be so damn rude.

  3. No matter what you and the students/kids are discussing, being interrupted with, “Can we go outside?!”

  4. Only having their undivided attention at story time.

  5. Teaching respect.

  6. Loving their lightbulb moments.

  7. Understanding that recess and/or sports practice is their favorite “class.”

  8. Reprimanding student/kid for something and knowing all they somehow heard was, “She must not like me.”

  9. All slip-ups resulting in lame excuses- “I didn’t do it because everything else was more important, and I fell asleep.”

  10. The whining.

  11. Inspiring loyalty, effort, and love just by whipping out the candy.

  12. Equipping all of student’s/kid’s important lessons with a multimedia slideshow, preferably with a video.

  13. Repeating yourself at least 10 times.

  14. Bragging about your successful teaching/parenting strategies.

  15. Being told about how their other teacher/parent let them do it THIS way.

  16. Swapping horror stories with other teachers/parents.

  17. And, finally, turning out the lights in a quiet room? Guaranteed to send student/kid straight to sleep.

 

Posted in Mama

Fantasizing about Your Family Beach Vacation? I Can Fix That.

So, you’re dreaming about the beach?

February got you stuck in “Oh, I wish-” fantasies about warm weather, the smell of the ocean, your family frolicking while you relax and take in the sights and sounds of paradise?

I can fix that.

Prepare to love winter again.

That beach? First, you gotta get there.

And the odds are that “there” means waaaayyyyyyy over there.

Hours and hours.

With kids.

In an enclosed vehicle.

“We’ve traveled before,” I hear you say.

“Our kids are pretty good in the car,” someone affirms.

I think you’re not quite with me.

Someone is going to say, “I need to go to the bathroom! Now!”

And there will be no bathroom.

Someone will be fussy and upset. You will want to stop.

There will be no place to stop.

It will probably also be raining.

One kid will lash out at the other kid in a moment of cooped-up frustration.

About halfway through the trip they master the art of being just out of reach of your swiping-in-the-backseat-to-settle-them-down arm.

You resort to threatening to take away things if they don’t start behaving back there. By the time you actually get to your vacation destination your empty threats would have them on lockdown in the hotel room with no TV, toys, or foods other than broccoli.

But they know you’re full of it.

Anarchy reigns for the last two hours of the trip.

Once you arrive, check in, unload, and settle in the hotel, you simultaneously realize that 1.) you are now exhausted, and 2.) the vacation fun countdown has begun, and you now feel obligated not to waste a single second of it.

Even though you’re exhausted.

So, you open suitcases and fish around for swim suits.

You put little wriggly bodies into said swimsuits.

The boy’s is too big and you know he’s going to end up naked in the ocean at some point.

The girl is pouting because you are making her wear swim trunks and a sun shirt instead of either some skimpy bikini that traps the sand and seashells in the most uncomfortable places possible or a who-the-hell-invented-something-a-child-can’t-go-to-the-bathroom-in one piece suit.

The sunscreen. Oh, God, the sunscreen.

It’s normally hard to put sunscreen on little kids, but now they’re excited. They will never be less than two feet away. You will put the sunscreen on everyone with your arms fully extended in front of you (which counts as one last ab workout before you put on your own swimsuit), frequently having to stop to haul the slippery devils closer because they think you’re done every time you pause to get more lotion on your hands.

They are bouncing off the walls.

You begin the other side of vacation packing.

Boogie boards, beachy shoes, towels, water bottles, that hollowed out sunscreen container you saw on Pinterest that you can stuff your hotel keycards, wallets, and keys in, a cooler full of snacks, towels, beach blanket, those stadium chairs that fold up so you can throw them over your shoulder on a strap, shovels, pails, water squirter, and a lot more.

But somehow, after packing all that and trekking down to the water, you will still have forgotten at least three must-have items back in the hotel room.

I promise.

Upon arrival, The boy runs screaming directly into the water. Husband has to run screaming in after him, since the boy only imagines he knows how to swim and has no fear of going too far into the crashing waves.

Husband lifts a happily spluttering boy out of the water. The swim trunks are already down.

The girl wants to look for seashells.

You sit on a beach blanket and encourage her to look for shells.

But she doesn’t want THESE shells.

Slowly you are dragged up and down the beach while the girl scurries around gathering only the seashells with purple polka dots.

When you return to the beach blanket, it has been invaded by a super-sandy boy and Husband devouring the snacks.

You rinse the kids hands, but you still shudder every time they take a bite because bananas don’t make those sounds unless they’ve been given a crunchy coating of sand.

Family fun.

For several hours.

At some point, maybe when the kids are catching their breath from running screaming into too-deep water, swallowing it, thinking they were drowning, getting scooped up, crying and then laughing about the water that came out of their noses, you will look up and notice that the sunset is beautiful over the water.

And you will realize, “Oh yeah. I’m at the beach. On vacation.”

And you might blink a few times. And you will promise yourself that after the kids go to sleep, you and your husband will sit on the balcony and watch the ocean in the moonlight.

Which is sweet. And cute. And unlikely.

Because kids only sleep in a hotel after a lot of settling down. A looooootttttt of settling down.

And mama is already tired. The odds are, no matter how many beds the hotel room has, everyone will end up in one of them (yours), passed out by 9 o’clock.

And you won’t dare move.

Until 5 a.m., when the kids simultaneously wake up screaming, “Let’s go back to the OCEAN!!!”

And then you get a FULL day of family beach fun.

At some inevitable point during these trips, you start to fantasize about down time in your own living room. You imagine watching the kids playing in the back yard while you stretch out on the couch and channel surf.

Now THAT sounds like paradise.

 

family-beach

Posted in Fayetteville, Lately, Mama, Professor, Writer

A Girl, a Guy, and an Immigration Officer

citizen

This post is about my beloved’s experience with immigration.

I know that the current political environment is causing people to tell their immigration stories. I get that, but for years, my husband and I told his immigration story as a fun party anecdote. It has everything- romance, drama, tension, comedy, happy tears. It’s a show-stopper.

First, the fun part.

My husband came to this country with a 6-month sight-seeing visa. He had just decided to start his life over. He’d left his job, his home, his family, and come to America to visit with his sister and figure out what his next steps would be.

While he was here, he made a friend who offered to sponsor him for a work visa. Husband was all like, “Why not?”

And a year or so goes by.

Husband is then about ready to go back to Korea.

His friend once again tempts him into staying (I am endlessly grateful to this friend, btw), and talks Husband into applying for a student visa, so he can study English before heading back home to Korea.

Since Husband’s major in college had been Business English, he decided to try for the visa. His expectations weren’t very high, since student visas can be difficult to get, and Husband wasn’t exactly a traditional student’s age.

He got the visa! And in record time, too.

Husband signed up for a university ELL (formerly ESL) program. It was harder than he expected. A professor came to their classroom and encouraged all of the students to come to the Writing Center if they needed extra assistance.

That professor was my boss at the time.

Husband came to the writing center, we got set up with regular weekly appointments, and we bonded over his quest to learn English (or so I thought. Since then, he’s confessed that he thought I was cute. Being distracted, he didn’t learn a darn thing).

I liked him, even though I had no idea what to do with that emotion. I thought he’d asked me out at one point during the school year. He’d brought me a gift, and I sort of freaked out. He then changed his wording, and we continued our appointments without incident.

At our very last appointment, when we were saying goodbye, he actually asked me out. Well, he asked me if I wanted coffee, and I said yes.

A lie I have yet to live down after 7 years of marriage.

I don’t like coffee. I never wanted coffee.

I liked Husband.

Still do.

There was “coffee” (hot chocolate).

A “let’s just be friends” speech.

Sadness about the “let’s just be friends” speech (my dad drove an hour to bring me double stuffed oreos).

A rescinding of the “let’s just be friends speech.”

Dating.

Engagement (brief one).

Wedding.

Green card?

I remember looking over the government documents, trying to understand the legalese enough so that I could explain it to Husband.

But I hyperventilated before I could manage it.

I did my weird, look-perfectly-calm-but-succumb-to-an-internal-panic-attack-until-I-see-stars thing.

Husband took away my laptop.

He contacted a friend of a friend who was an immigration lawyer, fluent in Korean.

Thank you, Jesus.

Why was I so scared? Well, there was a list. People were posting that the green card process was no big deal as long as you didn’t fit into strange categories, like, oh, I don’t know-

  • Having a large age gap
  • A very brief engagement
  • Difficulty communicating (we were still working on the English)

So, we did everything so, so right, knowing we were going to have to fight to prove our relationship was the real deal. The application said to send at least three pictures documenting our relationship. We had to buy an especially reinforced envelope to include all of the pictures we sent.

We practiced the relationship questions until we could have won a couples game show. We got ready for our interview with the immigration officers while drilling each other on favorite foods. We carefully took one last look around the apartment, so that, if we were questioned about our intimate spaces, we could prove we lived together.

Immigration time. This was before we had a GPS, so after a lot of tense yelling that it wasn’t me, but the MapQuest directions, that got us lost, we’d arrived.

Yellow waiting room. Hard metal folding chairs. A lot of tense-looking families speaking different languages.

Our turn.

Husband and I met with a woman who tried to set us at ease (easier said than done) and the interview got started.

We were completely blindsided.

After a friendly two-minute chat with me about how my family accepted Husband, the woman turned her attention to Husband. From that point onward, I might as well have left the room.

“Have you ever willingly visited a communist country, and if so, which ones?”

“Uh…”

“What is your experience with weapons of mass destruction? Have you ever assembled or disassembled a bomb?”

“Uh…”

“Have you ever infiltrated another country, be you at peace or war?”

“Uh…”

So, it turns out, Husband did his military service in Korea years ago. He had also gone the extra mile and spent at least a year in their version of the Special Forces Marines. That unit had some rather specific duties and training that, apparently, included some knowledge of bombs and regularly infiltrating North Korea for training purposes.

Screw our age gap. They’d red-flagged Husband as a potential terrorist threat.

Husband’s neck had beads of sweat dripping down to his shirt collar. I sat by helplessly.

Since I was familiar with Husband’s English level, I saw his confusion and once tried to step in to help explain one of the woman’s questions. I was told to let him answer, and had to watch him flounder.

The interview was extra tricky. They had Husband’s information. They knew he had been part of a unit that made weapons and was trained to broach a sealed country. If Husband didn’t admit to these things, he would be very much in the wrong. But, under these circumstances, admitting to these things made him look like a threat anyway.

He did his best. I tried not to bite my lips off.

Somehow, we passed.

Green card approved.

It was all so surprising for us, once it was done. Get grilled. Get out. Green card.

I don’t remember what happened next. I think we might have passed out in the car in the parking lot for a while. I remember that I kept saying, “I’m shaking,” and Husband kept saying, “Oh god, I’m sweating.”

Eventually we scraped ourselves off the floor and started calling everyone with the good news and our surprising, sweaty, funny story.

The next part, the citizenship test and interview, is another story, but suffice it to say, we weren’t so worried then. We had even more pictures in the envelope that time, of two beautiful babies who look a little like both of us.

Posted in Mama, Writer

Writing and Parenting (AKA Parenting while Thinking about Writing and Almost Never Writing)

What it’s like to want to write things when you have children: (Maniacal laughter.) I first realized it would be pretty impossible to work and write around my kids when my son was three mont…

Source: Writing and Parenting (AKA Parenting while Thinking about Writing and Almost Never Writing)

Posted in Mama, Writer

Writing and Parenting (AKA Parenting while Thinking about Writing and Almost Never Writing)

What it’s like to want to write things when you have children:

(Maniacal laughter.)

I first realized it would be pretty impossible to work and write around my kids when my son was three months old. Even as a tiny baby, he seemed to despise my laptop. I swear he’d cry as soon as I put it near me. From that point on, I worked in shifts. I would either get up early, stay up late, work during nap times, or work when Husband could watch our son.

My writing and academic work was not compatible with childcare- not surprising, considering childcare is a super-intensive job all its own.

This was all a shock to New Mom Me, though. I vividly remember some talk aimed my way during my baby shower. It went something like, “Oh! You’re a college teacher! What a perfect job for a new mom! You only have class times and office hours on campus, and the rest of the work can be done at home while you watch the little one play!”

I have since decided that this person, who already had kids of her own, was probably laughing on the inside when she told me these things.

Diabolical.

Evil- even if she did bring a posh diaper bag as a gift.

I guess no one is 100% evil.

Since then, I’ve been playing a painful waiting game. I’ve been looking forward to a time when I can work at home in peace.

I have 2 children now. One is school-age. One is almost school-age.

And I can’t believe I’ve been thinking, “When they go to school, I will be able to write,” for FIVE YEARS.

Five years.

I did manage to write here and there. It hasn’t been five years of nothing on the writing front, but it was five years of having ideas, wanting to write, and (almost all of the time) not having the opportunity.

It has been my experience that when I mention this

(My son just plopped down beside me and is interrogating me about what I’m writing. In Kindergarten and he still hates my laptop.

Now he is insisting I cuddle him, so I’m typing this one-handed.)

Ok- when I mention this to anyone, they seem to think I’m being ridiculous, as if I were playing the martyr, showing how much I work and sacrifice for my kids, how I always put myself last. They try to fix me and my mistaken priorities/ time management skills/ parenting strategies.

Whatever.

This is not just me. I don’t think that’s possible.

It is the nature of a child to be distracting to his or her parent.

It is the nature of being a full-time teacher with a family of four not to have enough time in the day for “extras.”

My creative drive is an extra.

(My kids have the sniffles and they just declared themselves too miserable to play. Therefore, cartoons are now playing- very loudly- in the background while I type this. Note to self- we are dangerously low on apple juice. It’s either brave the grocery store on a Saturday or risk a mutiny.)

(Also- grade those 50 papers.)