I like to keep a notebook and pen beside my bed. I don't mind writing on the computer, and lord knows spellcheck greatly improves my spelling, but I've always liked writing free hand, especially late at night or early in the morning.
That is, after all, when most of the ideas come. They're little and quiet and always come when my brain is a mumble jumble and I'm not sure I remember how to walk and wasn't I just in Paris pulling a tuxedoed Ewan McGregor into an embrace?
I try to leave a notebook next to my bed to catch those fleeting ideas. The notebook lasts there for a week, maybe two.
Before the girls get to it.
It's usually on a weekend, when we sleepily pull them into bed with us, released from our weekday fear of messing with the sacred cow of our morning routine. We, the adults, envision an hour or two of quiet cuddling with our adorable soap-scented brood. The children apparently see an excellent trampoline and two semi-comatose punching bags.
We never learn.
They last for maybe 4 minutes of lying beside us before looking for entertainment. Singing songs at a later-in-the-day-please volume, pulling bookmarks out of books, debating the relative merits of Sprout TV shows are just the beginning.
Drawing with a nearby notebook and pen eventually enters their minds.
Sometimes, I give up my notebook willingly, giving them just a page at first, and please not any of the ones I've already written on. Other times, I tell them the notebook's mine, for grownup writing, and they're welcome to get their own paper and crayons from downstairs.
Which they won't do unless I accompany them, thereby completely ruining the whole stay in bed scenario. The sad truth is, I usually just give up and let them co-opt my notebooks.
It suddenly occurs to me that I have other options. Like leaving a notebook and pencil that's just for them on my side table.
(AHA! And see also: DUH!)
Motherhood Is Painless.
This one is mine, all mine.