Mapping Out Writing Time: The Countdown Begins…

…2 more days before the kids go back to school. 2 Days!

We are ready.

New school supplies. Check.

New backpacks and lunchboxes. Check.

We even survived shopping for new school outfits and shoes, which is not an easy task with three girls. Though, I’ll admit, I should count my blessings. Ninja Girl and Princess Rock Star are at an age where they like anything I choose. Another plus, they’re really good about wearing hand-me-downs…for now. It shouldn’t come as any surprise, my biggest challenge proved to be Spy Girl. The most trouble, believe it or not, was not over clothes, but over a certain type of boot…

“Come on, Mom! Everyone has these.” Spy Girl threw me one of those sad puppy-eyed looks that she thinks will make me feel sorry for her. “You didn’t let me have them for two whole years and I’m growing older and want nice things.” She held on to these chestnut brown boots as the sales woman stood a few feet away, waiting to scoop in at any sign of weakness.

The other two girls were across the store, looking for the perfect footwear to start off the new year. When they heard Spy Girl’s voice curl into a whine, they came over, checking out the boot.

“Oh, Mom,” Ninja Girl said. “I want those, too!” She walked over to the table and picked up a black boot, waving it in front of my face.

The heavy fragrance of the sales woman drew closer.

Wouldn’t you know this particular brand even carries pink boots–which Princess Rock Star spotted in a second. “H has these same ones! Can I have them?” She jumped up and down, her voice carried throughout the store. “They’re my favorite color!”

Needless to say, I left the store fast, with as much dignity as I could muster–a difficult task with three whining girls and a hovering sales woman, who told the girls, for my benefit, “You can always order these on-line…here’s my card.”

Spy Girl smiled and took the card. We left the store.

Clearly, my child has been deprived of the coolness factor, since she’s been without these status boots for the past two years. But, do they have to be so ugly? And expensive? Gah! After a bit of thought, I told Spy Girl I’d buy them for her, if she paid for half. She put a bit of a fuss, but finally agreed.

$46 left to go.

Fifth grade will be interesting.

On the other extreme, my baby, Princess Rock Star, starts kindergarten! She can’t wait. Me, on the other hand…all I can say is the first day of school is going to be tough. For me.

Though who knows what kindergarten will bring this year, what with the push to test kindergarteners. Thanks, Jen Robinson for the heads up! Our school only offers half day programs. In the beginning, I couldn’t wait, because I kept dreaming of everything I could get done in this time. Think of all that could be done in a half day! Exercise, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, not to mention writing–this is the time I coveted for so long, since I don’t have any help in taking care of the kids.

Of course reality soon hit when I received the letter from Princess Rock Star’s teacher last week. A half day of kindergarten equals 2 1/2 hours–really about 2 hours of class time, when you count a half-hour buffer for dropping off and picking up from school. Ack!

Okay, 2 hours of free time. Need to reassess priorities and use this for writing.

No Internet.

No phone calls.

No housecleaning.

No grocery shopping.

No errand running.

No catching up with friends for coffee.

Only writing. Pure writing.

For 30 days. Because I feel like it.

Anyone in?

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Vivian Lee Mahoney

Consider yourself warned: I write books about rebels. I'm also a postergirlz for readergirlz, a literary advisory group for teens. Who knew going back to the teenage years would be so rewarding?

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