Friday, September 09, 2005
I'm a Flamingo!
Why do I not have a writing job when other WGA members are making fortunes? As I tap tap tap I can hear James' sci-fi serial in the background screaming this banal dialogue: Man: I want to go in. Woman: No, you're not. Man: Yes I am! (Crash) Oh crap. Woman: I told you not to do that!
In truth, there's not much difference between these sci-fi stories and dealing with a two year old: Nicky: I want to go in. Mommy: No, you' re not. Nick: Yes I am! (Crash) Uh-oh. Mommy: I told you not to do that!
To be fair, Nick is very easy child. Even Sophie, for all her pipping and squeaking, is fairly content if you keep her occupied. I can usually accommodate both their needs, even if we're doing something boring at Home Depot. Me: How many cans of toxic ant spray do you see? Uno? Dos? Tres? Nick (ignoring me and grabbing glue bottles): I like thooooose. The baby likes those. Me: Oooh, please don't eat the glue cap. You could choke." Nick: I want to choke, Mommy. Me: No you don't. Choking is bad. You just don't want to do it... Like the Margarena. Nick: No markers in the rain, Mommy? You don't color when it's wet outside? (sidetrack) Noooo baby! Don't touch my toxic paint! 2 hours later we get to the register, I've usually forgotten my wallet, they learn the word for 'dip shit mommy' and we call it a day.
I think since I've done this mama gig for a few years down, my patience has risen to tsunami levels. I just do everything more slowly, and that's okay. Maybe it's the Zoloft, but I'd like to give myself credit for having the mental where withall to just know when it's time to chill out. There is a section of the brain that just shuts down logical time lines and consequences to feel good about what you're actually doing. For example, today I was cleaning the living room and, despite the fact that both kids were awake, I had a half hour of uninterrupted spitting and polishing. It was heaven. Call me the missing housewife from Wisteria Lane, but I don't mind cleaning when I can do it without miniature humans attached to my limbs. I play music, I look at photographs, I make mental notes of what I'd do if I had all the money in the world for curtains, paint and 2000 square foot house extensions with vaulted ceilings and stain glass windows. I'm quick, too, and in less time then it took for me to get knocked up I finish my room of the day. And let's not forget the game show spinning in my head: "Okay, if Andrea can get the fungi filled bottle nipple from under the couch before the timer goes off, she wins a new broom! Go!" Today was a particularly enjoyable clean for me, as evidenced in my shiny living room above bottom.
As it turns out, however, the twenty minutes I completed my task really translates into twenty five thanks to the the clean-up incurred from Sophie pictured above top.
All in all, I don't mind a little bit of backwards movement to move forward. And that's how I'm viewing this whole writing thing. Herb and I made a little bit of progress on our pilot this week. I'm almost done with the outline. And yes, it's slower than it would have been three years ago. While we're 'cleaning the living room' someone is always 'taking out the toilet paper'. But in the end, both rooms will be clean, and our script will be done, and hopefully, I'll have a fresh smelling home to read it in.
In closing, I have to ask myself why I set such high standards on myself. I'm not anal, but I do like things in order. From my home to my writing to my social events, I like the idea of everything in its place. Everything having a purpose. Nothing wasted. Underneath my six one frame and loud bravado lays a peaceful nester. Perhaps my inner animal is a bird. Except I'm nervous about flying. And I don't think it's fair that the male gets to impregnate us and then have wacky adventures while we get to sit on the egg all day. And I'm not very technical, so weaving a nest out of twigs would be a challenge. I suppose I could use a shoebox, but how would I get it up the tree? If anything, I'm a flamingo: Loud, bright, long spindly legs and always twisting its nosy neck around to make sure it doesn't miss anything. And while it doesn't get the fame of the more elegant eagle or hawk, at least it has a line of funky plastic lawn decor in its honor. And a casino in Vegas. Not bad for a bird that sleeps with one leg up and its ear perched for trouble.
(* Black and Whites on living room wall behind me courtesy of Cynthia Nicoella, photographer extraordinaire. She also did Cecelia's wedding and has a website. She is available for hire! And she didn't ask me to advertise this... but she's so good. She made me look like one of those effortless Petunia Picklebottom toting Malibu moms who has nothing to do but blow out her hair and have her nanny push her kids in a thousand dollar stroller... Not that all you Malibu moms are really like that, but some of you put on a great illusion, so please... if there's a writer/mom out there who lives near the beach and carries chic diaper gear, let me know of your post as I'm dying to get the real scoop.
Cynthia Nicoella info: Seanic71@aol.com Website info to come. Give me a day or so to locate it. Or Cynthia, please post!