My son, to quote Michael Jackson, is a lover not a fighter.
He's the one who holds my face, stares into my eyes and says, "Mommy, you have such a beautiful smile." He's the one who chases his sister around on the playground and then wraps her in an enormous bear hug.
Because of this, we dote on him like he's a puppy. Which is all fine, except in some ways he's like the pampered, lapdog version of a puppy. It occurred to me the other morning, as I was making breakfast, that he's been working the system far too long when it comes to using a knife and fork to cut his food.
He's had ample instruction on multiple occasions, but we're all kinda suckers for him. However on this particular morning I decided to hold strong.
Child #2 ambled into the breakfast room, eyed his plate and announced, "Someone needs to cut my pancake."
"This morning that someone will be you," I said and handed him a knife and fork.
Things got ugly fast. "This is neglect!" he cried when he figured out food would not be partitioned into bite-sized pieces on his behalf. "You're a mean mom who sends her child to school without breakfast. I won't eat."
Instead of making the obvious points, homemade pancake sitting on plate, table service, school morning, I just smiled and said, "I guess you'll be really hungry for lunch."
He cried. He stabbed at his pancake with a knife like it was a murder weapon. His food got cold. He had to microwave it. The microwave door propelled the plate onto the floor where it broke. I served him another pancake and he had to start over, but in the end he managed to cut his pancake.
On the way home from school, instead of congratulating myself, I thought about roadblocks.
Child #2's refusal to cut his own food is classic kid behavior, but that doesn't mean adults don't engage in it too. I've had to drag myself kicking and screaming down certain paths only to discover, once I got there, it's actually kind of nice on the other side.
Blogging. Twitter. Querying. Writing the Dreaded Synopsis. Telling People I Want to be a Writer. Pushing for a Big Six Deal. Marketing Effectively. Developing Thick Skin.
That's a partial list of of my writing related roadblocks. Some have been conquered. Some still require work.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized I would love to have a writer mommy to decide when I was ready to start using a knife and fork to cut through my roadblocks.
Writing is one of those careers that's all about internal motivation. Most of the time I'm good at that. But every now and then I long to have someone appear in my kitchen and tell me today is the day I develop thicker skin.
On a sidenote, Child #2 cut his steak into nice little bite size pieces yesterday. It really is nicer on the other side.