Toddler Trenches Revisited

Strangely, the last post I wrote on this was deleted when my website was restored after an update made it wonky. I usually  save these things but when I went back to my trusty Word, I saw that I had only written a paragraph. It wasn’t even the paragraph that I remember going with! I believe this is a syndrome of the Toddler Trenches. I am sure I got distracted before I had a chance to make a copy of the post I originally went with. This is life in the Toddler Trenches. What’s more is that we added a new puppy to our pre-existing clan of two kids and a dog. Puppies are more difficult to deal with than toddlers. You find yourself constantly tracking down this ball of exploratory cuteness so it doesn’t leave yet another yellow puddle on your carpet. My toddler on the other hand needs to be spied on in the bathroom to ensure her “independence” doesn’t leave you with poop graffitied all over your walls and pedestal sink. Where is the time to write, you  ask? I ask myself the same question and am taken back to the most recent Wordfest in Calgary. I asked that very question to a panel of respected female authors including Ann Marie MacDonald, Caroline Adderson, Marina Endicott and Heather O’Neill. They all said the same thing: You either pay for child care or you don’t. As a yoga teacher/writer/stay-at-home  mom child care isn’t an option.

Photo via

Photo via

I also read recently in a chapter of Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, that, “Art cannot be made in stolen moments”. This particular chapter, Clear Water: Nourishing the Creative Life was about purifying the creative waters and is well worth the read. Furthermore, I came across the Charles Bukowski poem, So you Want to be a Writer in an article while I was perusing Facebook. The poem basically says that if you are not feeling like writing don’t do it. It is much more poetic, of course and totally worth the read. The article also states that Bukowski himself was published in his 20’s and dropped off of the writer’s map for 20 years while he worked for the U.S. Postal Service before becoming what we know him as today. This flies in the face of everything else I have ever been taught or read about when it comes to the writing craft. This other philosophy states that daily writing practice is key. So which is it? Wait for the Muse? Or hunt for her on a daily basis while filling up the blank pages of your favourite journal?

I don’t know the answer, but I do know this: I write when I can. I write when the kids are asleep, I am writing now while the puppy sleeps and the toddler is in the bath. Art may not be made in stolen moments, but that is all I have to keep my writing muscles from atrophying. It will have to do for now.

Poncho Puppy