I told friends of mine last Friday that, assuming nothing happened to get in the way of my writing, I’d be finished with the draft of the manuscript by Monday night.
Clearly, I’m stupid.
What possessed me to say such a thing is beyond me. It’s not like I have no experience with this. Everyone has experience with this. It’s a well-known universal law, right up there with the theory of relativity. If you say, “Sure I can be there before eight o’clock; I’ve got nothing going on that morning,” chances are the electricity will go out, your alarm won’t go off, and instead of being where you were supposed to be, you’ll sleep until ten. Leave the house without an umbrella and that 20% chance of rain means the bottom will drop out as you’re trying to lug fifty pounds of groceries and thirty pounds of flailing toddler into the car. I know the rules, and what’s more, I even thought to myself before saying it, “You know, I probably shouldn’t tempt fate.” Did that stop me? Obviously not.
The boy child has a mysterious fever. My kids get these a lot. Sometimes there are no other symptoms; sometimes they’re followed days later by coughing and hacking that would rival an eighty-year-old chain smoker’s. This particular fever was accompanied by the trots. The kid is five, but he’s already developed a, um, unique communication style. At one point, he screamed at the top of his lungs from the bathroom, “My BUTT is PEEING POO! It’s, like, RAINING POO in here!” Later, he informed me that he was pretty sure his butt was leaking. He pulled his pajama bottoms away from his behind, peered down the back of them, and confirmed that, yes, his butt was leaking indeed. It wasn’t pretty. One good thing, though. He’s figured out the best way to clean himself up. It involves him standing spread-eagled in front of the full-length mirror in our bathroom, bending in half at the waist, looking upside down between his legs at his…um…reflection, and using half a roll of toilet paper. Let me tell you, little kids are really damned cute, and this kid is no exception, but walking in on that? It’s an image I’m not likely to forget.
So the draft is still not finished. He isn’t running a fever this morning, and it’s stopped “raining” in our bathroom, so with a little luck, maybe I’ll get some writing done today. Maybe. Possibly. If I’m very, very lucky. But then again, I probably shouldn’t tempt fate.