Working from home


There’s cereal on the stack of criminal complaints on my dining room table.

The phone is on a high chair.

There’s cereal on her eye and on my upper arm and how did it even get there? And the woman returns my phone call perfectly in the 20-minute nap that gave me just long enough to grab lunch and conduct a short interview.

I worked from home this afternoon, bowing to a cold that’s left her nose practically useless, mealtimes a chore, and her breathing loud. I always think working from home will be easier than it is.

It works great in theory. I get work done while she naps, take a break to change and feed her when she wakes up, then she plays on the floor while I go back to typing up criminal records or turning my notes into a story for the weekend papers.

Of course, it never works that way in practice.

So I type those records between scooping bites of cereal into her baby-bird mouth and I read them out loud as I type for amusement.

It’s a strange sort of litany to read to an infant: “Charged March 28 with DUI on this street in this town, his BAC was 0.225. Charged April 10 by state police with indecent assault.” And so on.

Luckily she’s not old enough to ask what any of it means. And luckily she finds my voice and the cup of water on her highchair tray interesting.

We get the reports typed before she loses interest.

And of course we do get the story written too, it just takes a little longer and I work a little later than I usually do, taking advantage of a second nap that’s so much longer than the first.

It’s just not quite as simple as I always think it will be.

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