"Booky?" he asks.
This is slightly annoying -- I've got work to do. But the boy is part of my work, too. If I'm going to be a stay-at-home-dad-slash-freelance-writer, then I can't neglect the dad part of the equation. Even if doing so would make the writing part of that equation much easier.
So I read the book. Tobias climbs down, retrieves another tome and brings it to me. "Booky?"
"No, son. I've read you one, and I've got to get this done. Can you read it to yourself?"
Tobias doesn't like the idea. He raises the book high over his head, then slams it down to the ground. Then he toddles off.
We're one week into this experiment -- ok, we're a week into my new way of living life -- and it's clear that this is the battle I'm going to have to fight every day. I've got to write enough to bring in my (desperately needed) share of the family income. But I've also got to give the boy attention and nurturing.
When I'm writing, he wants to play with me. When I'm making a phone call he wants to play with his sound-making toys -- or he wants to play with my phone. This would all be much easier if he would just take a goddamned nap, but that's only happened once this week.(Which I deserve: I drove my mom insane by never once taking a nap after 18 months.)
I've tried putting him in his room behind a baby gate. Sometimes he'll take it. Sometimes he won't. I've had to dump him in his crib for 10 minutes at one point just so I could finish writing a piece with a clear head. I feel bad about this. I'm home with him! I'm the parent! I don't really want to shuttle him off to day care -- and I couldn't afford it now, even if I did.
But always, the work is calling. I don't think I'm going to solve this problem. I think that's simply the way it is.