“Mommy, is the story done yet?”

Because my preferred place to write is on a couch or in bed, and because it’s difficult to get things done when the children are awake and otherwise moving about, I tend to sneak my laptop into the guest bedroom on weekend mornings. I settle in on the guest bed, flip open the laptop, enjoy the morning sunlight … all in all, a perfectly nice workspace. Except that the children know I’m in there now, and as soon as they wake up, they burst into the guest room, bounce onto the bed and demand I read a story to them.

They know several of the children’s book manuscripts so well by now, they’ll request one by name. “Read the fireworks story.” “Read the one when the lights went out.” Since they’re the age group I’m targeting, it’s actually pretty helpful: my own personal focus group. Since I won’t get anything else done once they’ve joined me in the bed, it’s also entirely unhelpful. It’s the weekend, kids. Sleep in.

Yesterday, my son came in alone and crawled in next to me. I was attempting a total rewrite of one of my manuscripts, and naturally, he started reading over my shoulder. (Fortunately I wasn’t working on the novel. It has grown-up words.) Then he began the literary equivalent of back-seat driving.

“Mommy, why did she say that? Mommy, what does that mean? Now what happens? Are you writing it? What does she do? Now what does she say? Is it done yet? Mommy, is the story done yet? Now is it done?” Aggravated sigh. “It’s still not done? When will it be done?”

This from the boy who can’t possibly get ready for school because his Lego creation isn’t finished yet.

I do appreciate the kids’ interest in my creative process. Though I kind of wish they would knock first.