Tales From A Slush Bunny: Slushing With Children

It’s happened more times than I can count. The doorbell rings, I open the door, and somebody stands there with their mouth open, their gaze hovering somewhere half a foot above my head.

“I’m wearing my bunny ears, aren’t I?” I ask. They nod. I shake my head, sign for the package or whatever, and leave them to wander back to their car in confusion. I’ve startled the UPS guy more times than I can count. The poor delivery man who brought our delicious lemon chicken. Girl scouts. Boy scouts. People from religious groups. Campaigners.

Before you start thinking that I’m just a Playboy Bunny wannabe, let me assure you that isn’t the case. No, it’s something different than that. I have small children. I slush for a magazine. Children + Magazine = Mrs. Frank from Donnie Darko.

My kids constantly interrupt me while I’m writing, and that’s fine. That’s something that I do for me, and the kidlets come before my things. Besides, they’re young. They can’t get their own snacks and they still need help climbing onto the potty. Mama is available whenever they need her, end of story.

Except when it comes to reading slush for Shock Totem. This isn’t my work anymore; it’s somebody else’s. As a writer myself, I get that. I know how much work goes into the creation, the polishing, the honing, and the submission of a piece. That story is going to get its fair shake, and that won’t happen if I’m interrupted five times while reading it. Hence the black lace bunny ears.

When Mama puts on the bunny ears, she becomes Mama Slush Bunny. She’s working, and isn’t to be interrupted while those ears are on. It’s a fun visual that my children easily understand. I don’t abuse the ears. They’re for slushing and slushing only, and I slush in short bursts so it’s manageable for the kidlets. But even though they’re funny, the ears mean that it’s time to be serious. No gouging out each other’s eyes until they come off. It simply isn’t allowed. My only concern is that my daughter told a neighbor the other day that “Mommy puts on bunny ears before going to work.” I can only imagine what she thought. πŸ˜›

We all have tricks up our sleeves when it comes to writing/working/slushing with our little ones around. The ears work wonders for me. What works for you?

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15 thoughts on “Tales From A Slush Bunny: Slushing With Children

  1. Ha! I love it. I was listening to the Donnie Darko soundtrack the other day…

    I am embarrassed to say that I occasionally put in a DVD to entertain the kids so I can get a little work done (not Donnie Darko). Like last week, for instance, when they had school vacation, it was the only way I could get ANYTHING done. I don’t sit them down in front of the TV for hours on end, but it still seems like there should be a better option. Maybe I need some bunny ears, too! πŸ™‚

  2. What a lovely image! Will you wear those for me when I come to visit? But then I guess I wouldn’t be allowed to talk to you, so…perhaps not.

    *shrugs*

    And I don’t sit down to write until the kids are all in bed, so I have no need of anti-distraction mechanisms. Yet. πŸ™‚

  3. This is a cute idea! I did a similar thing when kids were younger, only it was my big writer’s tee shirt, which fit over everything in the winter, cool in summer, but the bunny ears are so much more inventive. Best of luck with the slush. By the way one of my stories hit that slush pile of yours last year around this time…I got a lovely letter, no regrets here.

    I am only now just finding out about your pregnancy, and wish you well. My prayers and positive energy I send your way. My best always. J

  4. I only was lucky enough to have one child. He was front and center of my life even when I was working and going to school because that was the way it had to be in my life at that time. I wrote a thesis on Shakespeare with him climbing all over me. It was on a portable electric typewriter, no PCs back in those days (well not for the masses anyway).

    I tried to only write when he was in bed and asleep but there were only so many hours in a day and lots of papers to write. Creative writing was virtually abandoned at that time in my life. Although I would sneak in a bad poem or two.

    He knew when I was at the typewriter that I was working but he just couldn’t resist being in mommy’s soft lap. So despite the fact he “knew” better, he was still there soaking up lovin’ no matter what.

    Love your bunny ears idea and love you putting the kidlets first, they only are little for such a very short time.

    Deep Peace,

    Ardee-ann

  5. Slushing Bunny Ears – I like that. During my niece’s recent (weekend-long) visit, I kept saying to my mom: “WildThang won’t leave me alone. How in the world do writers with young children get any work done?!” I know you’ve discussed the (learned ability of) “dropping into writer mode at a moment’s notice” – something I’ve tried with zero success. I’m thinkin’ the bunny ears method is the way to go…although I might be more of a devil horns kinda gal. =D

  6. This was hilarious. I got a good laugh.

    I don’t have kids, but I *do* have to trick myself into working. I accomplish this feat with no small amount of concentration. And Booze.

    Joking.

    Maybe.

  7. I totally need a pair of bunny ears. And? Wish you had a photo of the UPS guy wondering what in God’s name you were doing answering the door at 2 p.m. with lacy black bunny ears while kids fling cheerios at each other in the background.
    Awesome. Beyond awesome.

  8. Aww, cute! I got my daughter involved by having her draw up a chart for my door. She has to know my office hours because she wrote them. She takes it very seriously, especially because she got to decide my break times.

  9. Alison, I used to be embarrassed about putting the kids in front of a DVD to write, but not anymore. It’s a treat for them and necessary for me. But they’re little enough that they won’t sit through an entire DVD. Within minutes they’re jumping off the couch into a pile of blankets!

    Lynsey, I’m sorry to tell this to you, honey, but I have a feeling that if you put on bunny ears, the boyfriend will NOT leave you alone. It’s just a feeling that I have. πŸ˜‰

    Kara, only if I can be like YOU when I grow up! πŸ˜€

    Simon, when you come to Vegas, we’ll get you your own set of bunny ears. It will be epic! >:)

    Thank you, Jenn! It’s so good to see you again. πŸ™‚

    “Quick, kids, Uncle Ken is coming over. Back to your cages!”

    Nisa, you know that I tried that, too. Then my soul crashed and died.

    Ardee-ann, the more that I learn about you, the more and more I’m impressed. You’re absolutely beautiful.

    Hi, catie! Haha, I LOVE that you call her WildThang! I used to be better at dropping into writer’s mode at a moment’s notice than I am now. I don’t know if it’s pregnancy brain or just…oh, look, butterflies! Distraction. I bet you’ll be absolutely fetching in devil horns!

    Anthony, booze it up and then drop random pieces of things on a complete stranger’s porch? Oh, wait, that’s a different post. πŸ˜‰

    Haha, Pauline! Because the only thing more disturbing than a woman answering the door in bunny ears is a woman who answers the door in bunny ears WITH A CAMERA.

    Shannon, what a cute idea! That’s really clever. Kids really do so much better when they’re involved. I’ll remember that for when the kidlets get older. Thanks!

    Thanks so much for commenting, everybody! I think we should all get bizarre headgear and parade around town in it. We’d be fabulous.

  10. I love this idea. It lets the kids know when you are unavailable and you get some time to get things done. I need to try something like that. I have several munch-kins running around as well but some of them know how to manage themselves better than others. However, they never think mom is off limits because I never am. I think that I need to be once in awhile though. Awesome post. Thanks.

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