On getting kids to do their own laundry, slime molds and deadlines

I.

So it goes like this:

Cinder: Mooooom! I’m out of pajamas! And pants! And socks! And…

Jane: Cindeeeer! The washing machine is, I believe, empty and fully functional. Do a load, or go scavenge in your dirty clothes pile! I’m writing!

Cinder: I’ve already worn everything twice… Will you show me how you do the laundry again?

Jane: As soon as I… just ask Flora to show you.

Cinder: Flora knows how to do laundry?

Jane: She ran out of underwear on Sunday.

Interlude for the aspiring writers in the crowd: Once or twice a week, I get an email from a “I want to be a freelance writer!” asking me if I have any advice to impart. It boils down to this: Pitch. Query. Write. And when you get assignments, MEET YOUR DEADLINES (and if you break them, you’d better have a really good excuse, like… FLOOD! And even then, your editors will say, “So… if you get power back on Thursday, does that mean you might be able to file on Friday?”). MEET YOUR DEADLINES. And did I mention… MEET YOUR DEADLINES.

Awesome Dryerase Board
II.

And then it goes like this:

Flora: Mooooom! What’s wrong with our sink?

Jane: Keee-rist, did Ender clog the drain with Lego again?

Flora: No, come look.

Jane: Sweetie, I really need to finish…

Cinder: Gah, Mom, you need to come see this.

Jane: This better be… Kee-rist. What the hell is that?

Flora: I think it’s a slime mold.

Jane: Is that moving?

Cinder: Sometimes, slime molds move.

Jane: That is not a slime mold. I doused the entire bathroom in cleaners and alcohol after we had the plague. I’ve only been neglecting the house for two weeks. Not enough time for a slime mold to..

Flora: Oh-my-god, it totally moved.

How you know we’re all a little whack:

Cinder: Should we take a picture?

Flora: Can I keep it for my museum?

Jane: I think if we leave it until Daddy gets home, he’ll deal with it.*

Interlude for the aspiring writers in the crowd: MEET YOUR DEADLINES. Deal with the slime mold later–or delegate.

xoxo

“Jane”

PS I’m not reading anything not directly related to my billable work right now, my apologies to the blogosphere. Um, well, except for this. Have you read Jessica Olien’s Salon piece, Inside the Box: people don’t actually like creativity. Brilliant. Painfully true.

*He did. Cause he’s the best Daddy-husband-to-writer ever. And, if you’re wondering: it was just a blob of shampoo-toothpaste mixture, carefully sculpted by the Ender. Of course. Obvious, you’d think. But we sort of liked going with the whole moving slime mold thing…

15 thoughts on “On getting kids to do their own laundry, slime molds and deadlines

  1. You do know that, in addition to keeping us entertained and enlightened with your travails, you are setting a sterling example for your three little mugworts and your readers? Well done, Jane. Well done.

  2. “I have no pants” me: “Go check the dryer” hahaha if, “there are none in the dryer.” me”I’m sure you have some that aren’t THAT dirty” HAHAha. Nice article, thanks for sharing!

  3. So great! I know we pulled that kind of stuff on my parents when we were little. I still play the “I don’t know how to do that” with my dad if I think I can get him to do it, and I’m nearly 30!

  4. Pingback: Unschooling math happens like this | Undogmatic Unschoolers

  5. That was the shortest freelance writing career I ever had! I can’t meet my own deadlines like, get the house cleaned for the Christmas party tomorrow. That’s right, you can stay up until 2am catching up on blogs but the house is a freaking mess and the kids stayed up until 11.
    What? Did I say something?

    • Writing is more important than cleaning. Or cooking. If that’s your truth, there’s not an awful lot you can to do change it. Re: the cost of *reading* blogs: Did I tell you I’m writing the UnBloggers Manifesto for the New Year? Coming soon…

  6. Teaching the kids to work the washing machine is tantamount to them ganging up and taking over the fortress…after we taught the son-and-heir to use the washing machine AND the oven he took a course in cheffery and we had to move out…then we moved to the other side of the country (to avoid the shame) bringing our teenaged daughters with us (much to their disgust) and taught THEM to use the washing machine and ended up having to move AND leave the washing machine behind because posession is 9/10’s of the law (apparently). Gotta say that we never once had empty house syndrome but buying new washing machines is a bit of a bummer.

    • If it weren’t for deadlines, I’d get nothing done. Truth. I ask friends for random dates by which I need to finish projects without a clearly defined expiration dates. How do you think I wrote a book in four months? 🙂 Deadlines. Always, deadlines…

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