I was discussing on Twitter last week about how many times my children interrupt me when I’m trying to write.
This gets worse during the summer when I hear the refrain “I’m bored” far too often.
I’ve heard Nora Roberts say in presentations that she told her two children during the summer not to interrupt in case of blood or fire and, when they got older, it had to be arterial blood and an active fire.
My four minions are certainly old enough to fend for themselves for several hours a day, being 17, 15, 12 and 12 (twins.)
Yet somehow, they do not seem to be able to go fifteen minutes without speaking to me.
So, I decided to expand on the “blood or fire” rule and make a list of allowable reasons for dragging Mom away from her writing (which helps pay for all the non-boring stuff like movies and trips to Gamestop.)
1. There’s a zombie apocalypse. One or two zombies do not qualify. Children should be able to handle a couple of slow-moving zombies with shovels and axes.
2. In case of alien invasion. In this instance, the invasion is only worthy of interrupting Mom if the suburbs are being attacked and New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. have already been destroyed. (If you live near a cornfield, you might want to specify that any unusual activity in the field is worthy of interruption, unless it’s Shoeless Joe Jackson.)
3. A blue police box appears in the middle of the living room. It doesn’t matter if the inhabitant is wearing a bow tie, scarf or a fez. Please interrupt.
4. Time is altered. In some instances, this may erase either the child or Mom’s existence, in which case the problem solves itself. However, if any of your siblings or your father have been erased from the time stream, Mom needs to know right away.
5. Dr. Henry Jones appears at the front door, asking for help in finding the Lost Ark of the Covenant. You must interrupt Mom for this and, no, it doesn’t matter if it’s Dr. Henry Jones Junior or Senior. (Though Junior is slightly preferable. It’s the Fedora.)
6. You find a strange ring with foreign writing on it that can make you invisible. Probably the best thing to do in this case is alert Mom, who can then tell you to toss the ring aside. I would recommend also booking a cruise to the Western shores if this happens.
7. A Vulcan appears wanting to make, um, First Contact.
8. A duplicate of you or your siblings appear from an alternate universe, complete with goatee. Mom certainly doesn’t want two of you around, especially since the duplicate will be more evil–or, more to the point, more likely to interrupt her work.
9. An extra-terrestial rocket ship crash lands in the backyard with a baby inside. Tell Mom to bring milk and some blue and red blankets.
10. For those living on the shoreline, interrupt Mom if a chunk of ice with a handsome blond man in a military uniform floats by.