This is why I can’t accomplish anything at home…

There are days where I think about writing all day long while at work.  I listen to a couple of podcasts now, the Nerdist with Chris Hardwick and Co. and WTF with Marc Maron.  They talk often talk about the creative process and what not and it helps inspire me to get some literary work done.  The creative juices get pumping and ideas pour into my head and I count the minutes until I get home.

But, then I get home.

I have five kids between ages three and ten.  Here’s an example of the chaos that happens when I get home:

I pull up to the house and three of the five are outside running around screaming.  Conn, the youngest boy, is wearing shorts and a t-shirt despite it being only 55 degrees outside.  He is not wearing shoes or socks and is probably not wearing any underwear (he likes going commando).  He has also marked his face with various colors of marker as though he’s been counting the Silence (Doctor Who reference, sorry).

It should also be noted he is in the front tree probably fifteen to twenty feet in the air.

On the bottom branch of the tree the youngest child, Elena, is also dressed inappropriately–pajama top and pink skirt.  She is hanging on for dear life, her feet dangling one foot from the ground, and is screaming in a panic because she doesn’t want to fall.  She is also upset that Conn won’t let her up any higher in the tree.

Somewhere, my dog is running around loose for the fourth time today because Conn went out the backdoor and left it open.

Inside, there are roughly eight dozen granola bar, fruit snack, and snack cake wrappers on the floor, on the couch, in the couch, behind the couch, in the couch, and on the entertainment center.  There are half melted Popsicles on the floor beside an empty bag of potato chips that had been purchased only twenty-four hours earlier.

On the couch amongst the litter, the middle boy AJ, is zoned out watching an episode of Minute to Win It that he felt the need to DVR from the night before despite having watched it live already.

“AJ,” I say.  I repeat his name three more times before he acknowledges me.   “Is your homework done?”

“Didn’t have any, Dad,” he says.  I will find out five minutes before bedtime that he “forgot” that he actually had three pages of math homework and a note from his teacher about AJ not completing homework for the better part of the week.

“Fine, can you clean up some of this mess, please?” I plead.

He says, “Sure,” with a frustrated sigh and sulks down to the basement to clean where he will actually retire to that couch and zone out in front of the TV.

Inside of the room she shares with her sister is Eowyn.  There is nary a place to stand in this room as everything in the room is on the floor. Is she doing her homework? Cleaning the mess?  No, she is wearing a skirt and singing a song with mumbled words while sashaying her hips to an invisible audience.

“Eowyn?”

“Hi, Daddy!”

“Is your homework done?”

“Yep!”

“Can you clean room then, please?” I ask.  Her adorable face, sans two front teeth, twists into an expression of sheer pain and misery and she throws herself to the bed and begins crying loudly.

No one knows where the oldest, Gabriel, is.

Across the hall from the girl’s room in the master bedroom is where I find Amanda with a bunch of school books scattered on the bed around her along with a box of Mary Kay products, invoices, and such.

“Oh, my gosh, Matthew,” she sighs with exhaustion, “I’ve been home for twenty minutes and I want to pull my hair out!”

Then the front door opens and the two youngest, aka Frick and Frack, come running in.  Lanie is screaming at the top of her lungs and Connor is shouting a song with no discernible melody or lyrical format.  he did something to her but we have no idea what.

Eventually, I go downstairs to the little office I’ve fashioned for myself.  I have a nice desk, my weight bench that I haven’t used in months, and all of my guitars. AJ’s drumkit is also in there, along with all of the toys that I’ve accumulated in my adult life that I don’t want my kids to play with.  Said toys are all out of their storage boxes and all over the place, one guitar is knocked over, two of my manuscripts in their binders are on the floor, and one toy I’ve had in its packaging for over ten years has been ripped open.

Creative urgency has now been replaced by unbridled rage and frustration.  So instead of writing and finishing my novel or even working on a short story I holler at children to clean until my throat is raw, sit in front of the TV, and mope for an hour.

On the upside, some of the senseless bullshit these adorable kids do is actually quite funny.

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