Sunday, 24 May 2009

Thrills and Spills

It's been a busy time, in a good way.

Last week I decided I'd had enough of the pace at which my 2nd draft was going (as if the pace was somehow not of my making, but an Evil Force I had to battle with). I decided it was target time. I respond very well to targets - it goes back to my days as a convent girl, yearning for that gold star, or yearning for Sister to stop pinching my earlobes with her razor-sharp holier-than-thou fingernails when I wasn't working fast enough... OK, no nun-bashing (that's what the WIP is for!). My target is 1500 words per day, in order to finish the draft by the beginning of June. I call it, in the manner of a person who has used the crutch of NaNoWriMo before: FiYoNoByJu. I'm sure you can work it out. A few authors I admire decided to join me for the ride. Comrades! Lovely. The Australian has noticed how my mood has picked up this week. "You seem to thrive on this sort of thing," he observed. I told him to get a packet of gold stars and see what else he could make me do. (Keep it clean, people, I told you I'm an ex-convent girl! Oh...yeah, right).

The Boy has a few new tricks. One is that he is pretending to be a dog for about 70% of each day. He wants to play fetch, he has a very realistic Woof!, and last night he bit his sister on the bum. But it's all her fault anyway - last weekend she made him a very elaborate kennel and lavished him with far more attention as a dog than he ever gets as her annoying little now we're stuck with it.

He's also learned how extremely funny it is to shut the front door when Mum and Dad are on the wrong side of it. We'd gone outside to say goodbye to some friends when we heard the door slam. "You got keys?" we said in unison. "I can't believe you don't have keys!!" I yelled, while The Australian ambled back up the pebbled path in his socks to assess the situation.

The situation was this - the front door was shut, the back door was locked, and the only window that would open has a gap of about 10cm. Now, we all know The Australian has shed his Heathrow Kilos, but he's still 6ft1 of pure man. The only option was to get The Boy to fetch my keys.

"They're in my bag, darling. Fetch Mummy's bag!" I shouted through the letter box. He toddled away...

...and came back wearing a brightly coloured Wiggles hat.

"No, not the hat, sweetheart, the keys. In Mummy's bag." Off he went again...

...and came back with his sister's pink sequined party bag.

"MUMMY'S BAG, DARLING. PLEASE." I tried to ignore the fact that he was really enjoying this. We both knew he knew what a key is - he can say the whole damn alphabet (apart from the elomeno-p bit) and has a genius line in sweet manipulation; the boy ain't dumb! In fact I probably shold have asked him to sweetly manipulate the door open.

The Australian decided to hitch a ride, in his socks, to the estate agent's office and get the spare key. It was as if he'd thrown down the gauntlet - could I make The Boy retrieve my key in the time it took him to fetch the spare? I was dead excited - a challenge! I thrive on them, right?

In the next 10 minutes I resorted to some parenting basics.

"Mummy has CHOCOLATE in her bag. If you bring Mummy's bag, I will GIVE YOU some of it."

"Ooh, chocolate!" he said. Seconds later he came towards the letter box with the bag. Yes! Yes! Nooooo! He'd dropped the bag in favour of his new plastic-lion-head-on-a-long-handle-thing! DAMN those gift shops at the zoo!!

As the car drew up, I realised I'd fai...fai...tried my best. Pfft. Still, at least the writing challenge is paying off - I'm over the hump and at that part where you've picked up a cracking pace and are having such fun you almost don't want it to end. Almost. That's the thrill.

As for the spill, we went out for pizza tonight and The Girl managed to throw an entire glass of lager over my lap. I smelled like a very wet dog who had just eaten a lot of hops. The Boy responded accordingly: Woof!

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Geraldine Ryan said...

Great post, Emily! The same happened to me once. I was locked out of the house by my two-year-old twins when I popped out to throw a rotten chicken carcass in the bin. I did manage to make money out of it later with my first ever published short story in Take-A-Break!

Emily Gale said...

Geri, I WISH I could turn my stories of hapless parenting into actual published stories.

How did you get back in? (Or do I have to trawl through the back issues of Take a Break?!)

Deborah Riccio said...

Emily this is Sooo funny. Same happened to us when MiniMe was about 2 - we were ALL outside though, squeezed her through the (large) cat flap, told her to get the keys (on the inside of the door, stupidly) but when she went in she just switched the TV on and settled down in peace and quiet alone.
We managed to turn the cat flap into a human flap with the aid of hammers and madness!

Emily Gale said...

Hehe, to be fair, if I ever manage to crawl through a cat flap and leave my entire family outside, I'll almost certainly go and watch a bit of telly and enjoy the peace.

I once locked myself out on a very small balcony. I used a flower pot to break the glass door. We were too poor to afford to fix it (translation: we spent all our money on extortionate London rent and, err, wine) so we just had a very cold kitchen for a year.