Saturday, July 23, 2011

how to run a rock band

As I'm writing this, I'm listening to the sounds of my two kids and their two cousins "jam" on their guitars and whine some "Baby, Baby, Baby, Oh..." (It's a Justin Bieber impression. If you don't know who that is, stop reading right now and check for a pulse!) The oldest is my girl and she's been bossy since she could kick from the womb so it's not always smooth sailing for the band. Especially when cousin #1 is just as bossy - usually - but will most of the time bow to daughter's proclamations. Though, not always. Those are the sticky situations. My son knows Justin Bieber just enough to almost get some of the words right. Plus, he's convinced he's a rock star stuck in a 5 yr old's body. (He knows every word to every song from High School Musical) So, he's the lead singer. But bossy daughter chimes in a lot because she can't stand to be out of the spotlight for even a second. Cousin #2 is almost 5 but she has 'baby of the family' syndrome so she doesn't assert herself like she could. She just goes with the flow and knows she's cute. She's also a peacemaker personality at heart, so she mostly ignores the bickering that breaks out. But every once in awhile, she'll feel undermined or wrong and she'll let you know about yourself in her sing-song 2 yr old commentary that's just cute enough that no one gets mad at her for it.

Now I can hear them arguing over whether it's "Baby, baby, baby ohhh" OR "Baby, baby, baby, oooooh" and I think I finally understand how easily a band breakup can happen. I saw it in 'That Thing You Do' and now I'm seeing it again in my living room. Artists are temperamental creatures.

Very soon this band thing will fizzle out or maybe even explode and I am predicting a branching off. Two bands will form out of the one. New alliances will be made and for awhile the arguing will be cut to a minimum while each side gives the other the silent treatment. Then they will create a peace treaty of sorts and maybe even make a comeback for a reunion tour, until bossy daughter says something rock star son doesn't like and then cousin #1 will put in her two cents and side with whoever's apparently "right" and the peacemaker cousin will go off with whoever's left over, again creating two sides whose behavior will remind me a lot of the Cold War.

In between all of this, approximately every ten seconds, they'll come in and ask me to be the audience and will 'perform' a song for me, where i have to turn away from my computer and give them my full attention, or risk their wrath for trying to multi-task (write AND listen). Then I'll get treated to a mumbled version of "There's a fire burning in my soul..." or the bridge to a Justin Bieber song or the background vocals to "This place is about to bloo-oow." Or something else equally random.

Oh look, now peacemaker cousin is upset. It must be really bad if she's crying. She won't say why and I've decided not to ask. She can cry it out in bossy daughter's bedroom and come back when she's got it together. Sometimes, its just easier that way.

At some point during all of this I have to find time to work on Cold Blood. Where's the hubby, you ask? Duty. (Yes the kids laugh every time we say that word.) Which means he's gone 'til tomorrow and I'm on my own in controlling the drama. I know I'm not the only mother/writer who struggles with my-kids-are-at-home-for-the-summer-itis. I just thought I'd give you a taste of what I'm up against. Just because I don't work outside the home doesn't mean I have all the time in the world to write. And for the other mommy/writers out there: I'd love to hear your stories. Feel free to leave them in the comments section!


  1. Hahaha!! Heather, this was awesome! Thank you for sharing! Man, you could have written that for a newspaper article. I really enjoyed your story. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great post!

    I have three kids of my own, but our house is Grand Central Station to all the neighbors. There are days I've had EIGHT children at my house at once. And since my son is the only boy among them, and one of two on the autism spectrum, let's just say I understand about conflict and drama. Oy!


  3. Ang - aww thanks babe!
    Melissa- yeah I know the Grand Central feeling. My cousin has 3 and I have 2 and one "cooking" and we're always doing something with the whole crew so yeah, holidays and get togethers are kind of crazy. But that's how we roll in this family. Haha.