I can not work from home. It’s taken me over a year to come to this conclusion, but I’ve finally accepted it as a cold, hard reality. Which sucks, really, because my husband and I spent quite a bit of money on an addition to our house that was supposed to be an office for me, but which is now basically an office for my daughter, who likes to play video games on playhousedisney.com and print out five hundred pages of the same black and white picture of Cinderella, no matter how many times I lecture her about saving trees.
I know that others can work from home, and if you are one of those people, well, congratulations to you. I, unfortunately, am not so lucky. To illustrate my point, I’ve written a short screenplay for you entitled, This Is Me, Working From Home.
INT. MY DEN – AFTERNOON
(To children) Okay, guys, mommy is going into her office to work. Please do NOT come in. If you need something, ask Rosa to help you.
INT. OFFICE – TWO MINUTES LATER
Four minutes of silence passes, during which time we see me read exactly six e-mails, open Word, and pull up a document entitled “New Book.”
SOUND EFFECTS - a door opens, and loud footsteps follow.
Enter HARPER, the four year old daughter, dressed in plastic high heels, a pink flapper dress with sequins, and red lipstick covering half of her face.
Um, Mommy, I tried to use the Mermaidia lipstick that Sophie bought me for my birthday, but I dropped it on the floor and then Davis stepped on it and now it’s all over my new carpet and then Davis picked it up and colored with it all over the wall.
(Annoyed) Harper, I know I said that I was working and
that I didn’t want you to come in here. Now please leave so that mommy can work.
OFF SCREEN – we hear whining and screaming.
Enter DAVIS, the two year old son. He is naked except for a diaper, and his entire body is covered in red lipstick. He is crying.
Mommy, I wantchou. I want to sit on your lappy.
Davis, mommy is working. You can’t sit on my lappy now. Please go back in the other room.
DAVIS makes a sound like a wild animal that has just had an appendage blown off by a rogue hunter. He wipes his nose on the sleeve of my brand new cashmere sweater, then grabs me by the hair and hoists himself into my lap.
I want to see the Wiggles on the tomputer, mommy.
(Whining) Nooooo! I want to do Playhouse Disney!
DAVIS begins pushing buttons on the keyboard. CLOSE UP on my face, as I watch half of the document entitled “New Book” disappear from the computer screen.