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Playing writer

6.18.2010

in Uncategorized

When I see Sage seated in her little rocking chair, a small black board–an IKEA media shelf in another life–on her lap and she tells me she’s “on the computer,” my heart sinks a little.

I’m on the computer too much. 


She can’t get my attention and so she’s emulating me.


She sees me working from home sometimes in our small apartment and reads it as “mommy’s not playing with us.” Even if Nate is home. Even if their sitter is with them.

So I close my own black laptop and play her game. “What are you doing with your computer sweetie? Playing a game?”

“NO!”

(She shouts NO! More than she ever simply says it. You know…threes.)

“I’m writing a book, Mommy.”

“You’re writing a book? What kind of book?”

“A book about me and Thal. And we’re playing and we jump and there’s Peter Pan and at the end Bart Sim-Sim comes out.”

“That sounds like a great book, Sage!”

“I’m writing a book like you.”

I thought, three year-olds pretend to be firefighters and tea party hosts and stuffed animal caretakers and fairies and princesses and doctors and Woody the cowboy. If she’s playing Be a Writer Like Mommy, that’s not such a bad thing at all.

And yes I’m writing a book. With Kristen. The book we’ve wanted to write for three years, but didn’t know what it was, and now we do. Posting here may be lighter for a bit; proposal is almost done and is making me more happy than happy.

My kids see that in me too.

30 shards of brilliance… read them below or add one

Muskrat June 18, 2010 at 12:40 pm

My son keeps wanting to get a police officer uniform held together with velcro so that he can be like me!

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Marinka June 18, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I'm excited about your book and I think it's fantastic that your daughter is pretending to be a writer. Somewhere, Virginia Woolf is smiling.

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Amelia Sprout June 18, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I love that you are writing a book.
Maybe it isn't so bad when they play at the work we do. Just because it involves computers and blackberries, doesn't mean it isn't just as worth emulating as doctor's, fire fighters and chef's.

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Mom101 June 18, 2010 at 1:27 pm

That's what I'm hoping Amelia.

And thank you Marinka. That made me a little teary.

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FunkyMami June 18, 2010 at 2:08 pm

What a smart child you have. Indeed, children learn more from what we do, not what we tell them to do…Your posting reminds me to play with my kids more often…Thanks for sharing.

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Alethea Fitzpatrick June 18, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Aw, this post made me teary. It's good to hear that doing something that makes you happy and having your kids see it can make a difference.

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Getrealmommy June 18, 2010 at 2:29 pm

I have just discovered the joy of writing as I have taken up the hobby of blog. I am okay with my kids seeing me taking on an enjoyable hobby that makes me happy. How is it any worse than watching daddy infront of a baseball game on tv? I think it is cute when Zack says hes “doin my email!” cuz years from now, he will hardly remember what email is.

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Cloud June 18, 2010 at 2:33 pm

My daughter asked for a computer for her 3rd birthday. We found her a toy one, and she loves it. She demands that I get my computer out, so that we can sit next to each other, typing.

She desperately wants to go to work with me, but I work in a building with labs, and I don't have a private office- I haven't figured out how to make this wish happen yet.

Be sure to save the first book Sage actually writes- my parents still have my first work, dictated to my mother, who must have had a hard time writing without laughing. They haul it out to embarrass me at key times….

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Cloud June 18, 2010 at 2:34 pm

My daughter asked for a computer for her 3rd birthday. We found her a toy one, and she loves it. She demands that I get my computer out, so that we can sit next to each other, typing.

She desperately wants to go to work with me, but I work in a building with labs, and I don't have a private office- I haven't figured out how to make this wish happen yet.

Be sure to save the first book Sage actually writes- my parents still have my first work, dictated to my mother, who must have had a hard time writing without laughing. They haul it out to embarrass me at key times….

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Magpie June 18, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Cool about the book, whatever it is.

Just the other day, I sensed that my daughter really needed some mommy time. So we went out to dinner together, and she came to work with me the next day, and I let her fall asleep in my bed. It was just the ticket.

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Lanita @ A Mother's Hood June 18, 2010 at 3:01 pm

My daughter once told me she wanted to be a lawyer, like me…and after that she was going to be a cheerleader. I guess there IS retirement after the legal field.

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dusty earth mother June 18, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Congratulations on the book!! I am thrilled for you, brilliant writer that you are. Maybe yours and your daughter's book could be published as a set :-)

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Greg June 18, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Wow, I certainly identify with Mom-101. I work at home on the computer most of the time, and our 7 yr. old daughter is very demanding of time. I think she is starting to hate computers.

She hated it when I worked in my home office, so I bought a laptop that I might be in the living room with her.

But I want you to play with me daddy! She doesn't understand that even though I am at home, I can't always play…and that is so tough.

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Issas Crazy World June 18, 2010 at 4:46 pm

You and Kristen are writing a book? I am looking forward to reading that. No matter what it's about.

Being a writer? Not a bad thing for her to want to be.

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justmakingourway June 18, 2010 at 6:54 pm

I probably shouldn't say this – knowing what Nate is doing now – but whenever our son says he wants to be a chef like his Dad, my husband says, “No you don't!”

Writer sounds great to me. Congrats on getting your book going!

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Abbey June 18, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Yippee! And a sweet reminder that who and how we are OK, embrace it even if it isn't what you expected!

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Linda Sullivan June 18, 2010 at 9:08 pm

I think it's actually quite sweet that you're daughter is emulating you. If she does ever become a writer, she'll already have a pretty good idea that writing is just as challenging a career as any other. Sitting on a chair waiting for inspiration to hit (and then waiting for reviews to come out!) is no easy task by any measure :)

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Christie - Childhood 101 June 19, 2010 at 7:24 am

I hear you. My two year old often tries to commandeer my laptop to write a blog!

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Lady M June 19, 2010 at 7:35 am

Awesome. Will buy your book.

When SwingDaddy and I are rehearsing, my five year old stands there and gives coaching comments. I made an error on a step, and he says, “do it again, but slower. Ok, that's better.” They do what they see!

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Just Margaret June 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm

A few years ago a similar thing happened here in my home. I assumed it was a statement about what I wasn't doing, rather than what I *was* doing.

But I see it differently now. Our kids see us writing–they see that it is an essential part of who we are and just how important it is to us. My daughter is older than Sage, and she's been using my hub's old laptop. Instead of reading before she goes to bed most evenings, now she's tapping away at the keyboard.

She wants to write–”Like you do, Mama,” she tells me. And when she says things like that, my heart melts a little.

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Kerry June 19, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I have been reading your blog for a long time (I think you were the very first blog I stumbled across back when I didn't even know waht blogging really was) and this is my first comment, sorry to be a very lame lurker…

I just had to tell you that I am SO looking forward to this book in the making!

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Julia June 19, 2010 at 7:36 pm

This is lovely. I'm excited to ready your book! What fun to have a big new project that is making you happy.

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Mom101 June 21, 2010 at 1:36 pm

That made my day Kerry. Thank you!

And thanks for the support everyone. I hope we won't disappoint you.

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Steph June 23, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I can't wait for your book to come out!!

My 3 year old has a really healthy imagination. She has imaginary friends and she actually uses clothes hangers as people. (I have no idea why, never seen it before so yes it's odd). She has a little toy lap top and she types a million miles a minute on it while it makes choking cut off noises. I just laugh. I imagine that's a sign that I type fast? On the rare occasions I work I am lucky enough to work for my dad filling in for my SIL and I've taken her in with me. She pretends to sell cars now too. :) I remember doing the same thing at her age. It's never bad to be a hero no matter what your “job” is.

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Diana June 25, 2010 at 3:38 pm

No that's not too bad. Not too bad at all.

Can't wait to see the book.

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Elizabeth @claritychaos June 26, 2010 at 4:12 am

Can't wait to hear more about the book!

-elizabeth

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Debbie June 29, 2010 at 12:54 am

Liz! That's so awesome. You and Kristen will, undoubtedly, come up with something bright and brilliant and witty and perfect.

(It's what you do.)

Can't wait to get in line for an autograph. :) :) :)

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Heather June 30, 2010 at 4:41 pm

I can”t wait to see what kind of genius you and Kristen cook up.

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Rita Arens July 2, 2010 at 4:07 pm

My girl used to play writer. Now she wants to be cake boss. I liked it better when she wanted to be like me. (sniff)

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Kim Tracy Prince July 2, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Yay! Oh my GOD Liz it's about time. Of all the people who have transitioned from this platform to a “real book,” you should have been on the forefront. I look forward to it.

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