Destination ImaginationThe cat sits in her chicken pose, dreadlocks growing from her jutted out shoulder. Even her good eye is goopy. I cant see her tail stump but I know it, like her deafness, is there.

She is not an attractive specimen.

Oliver walks slowly from room to room mewling about an assignment he doesn’t want to complete. He usually just puts his head down and gets his work done but for some reason the fictional chef and his good smelling tomato sauce is not inspiring an essay.

Steve is traveling again and I am just about holding it together. Sure my pjs were on at 4pm but that was AFTER I went to the grocery store, had a meeting about the school auction, checked in on the house renovation and coached the 5 loudest 4th graders in the world through Destination Imagination. It was one of boy’s birthdays and three of us had provided snacks. They worked through cake pops, cupcakes, cookies, potato chips, pirate booty, and oranges. Their normal volume was emphasized in direct proportion to the sugar in their bodies.

After that, and the cat attack, and the dinner prep, and the approximation of dinner eating came clean up and homework. I did the dishes, soaking my shirt as usual, and joined the boys in the living room where they were crouched around the coffee table working. As uncomfortable as this looked it was not as bad as some of the other corners they squeeze into. Some of their best work has come between bed and side table, next to open closet doors, even on the toilet.

Leo was trudging through when Oliver began his light complaints. How could he possibly write three paragraphs on such a question. On it went. I indulged him by reading the prompt and its accompanying “story”. It was uninspired. I gave him sympathy then told him to write it or skip it.

Time passed. He continued to suffer audibly. Sniffling. Moaning. Strange light mewing of displeasure.

I left the room. Perhaps if his audience disappeared his act would as well.  No, it followed me down the hall. A ghost of essay misery.

“How?’ He asked. “How?” “How can I possibly write an essay when I have no good ideas?”

I told him it didn’t have to be good. It just had to be written.

And  I opened my computer to take my own advice.

Someone should listen to me.

And it won’t be the deaf cat.

 

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

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