Writer and Child


Snapshot of the part-time writer with a newborn: Wife, exhausted, hits the sheets shortly after eight. The time varies dependent upon the baby’s needs/whims, of course. The almost equally exhausted part-time writer feeds the baby. Then begins the drama – suspense builds as the part-time writer watches anxiously to see if the baby will drift off to sleep. Or will she instead remain stubbornly alert until the wee hours? If the latter, the writer will consider himself lucky to get in a hundred words, pecking one-handed at the keyboard while supporting the baby in his other arm.


If the baby cooperates, her eyelids drooping, then sealing shut before, say, nine, then another minor white-knuckle episode ensues: Can the part-time writer get the baby into her bassinet, covers pulled up to her growing number of baby-fat chins, without waking her?


That done – if indeed it is done without the entire enterprise reverting to stage one – the writer has a couple of hours of late night typing ahead of him before dealing with another round of feeding and diaper changing.


And then, if the part-time writer is extremely lucky, he is allowed a couple hours of sleep before waking up for the early morning feeding. Then – again, luck dependent – a couple more hours fitful slumber before rising to go to the office where he works full time at something other than writing.


It does keep the part-time writer busy.


There are benefits to this writing schedule. Holding and soothing a baby to get her to sleep does allow the part-time writer time to catch up on Netflix movies, viewed on an eleven-inch computer screen and listened to through headphones.

Does anyone care to share stories of late nights taking care of infants?