Life is full of unexpected moments, but the most unexpected moments tend to come when there are toddlers in the house. For those of you who don't have children, or whose toddlers have grown, I feel I must share the love. Here are the top ten most difficult parts of writing and reading romance while you have little ones to help you better appreciate those of us traversing the dark and musty battleground that is the tot vs. the romance novel.
10 - It's inevitable that any extremely emotional or moving moment in a book will be cut off by a high-pitched scream (either of joy or anger) and that mood is hard to get back, once broken.
9 - It's hard to remember (just a second, I have to get a sippy cup) the storyline when (hold on, my two-year-old is making up the cutest song) you're constantly (wait a sec, I've got to get a tissue) you're . . . um . . . What was I saying?
8 - Romantic thoughts are far rarer when you're sleep deprived.
7 - Every prelude to a kiss ends with the incoherent letter mush of toddler fingers slipping onto the keyboard. And if you run to get a drink of water mid-sentence, you'll surely end up with; "He drew her to him, his lips kerrioooskclkgo joidfij;ortgjeaajmjufjik!!!"
6 - It's hard to think sexy thoughts while a hamster, a turtle, and a duck in a pilot's hat are singing their lungs out on TV.
5 - If the story your reading is so good you can't put it down, you might find yourself brushing your teeth with diaper rash cream. (Yes, this actually happened.)
4 - Your fingers keep slipping off the keys because they're still greasy from the aforementioned banging by chicken and apple juice covered fingers.
3 - Every time you push play on your favorite book on tape, you remember the time your little one talked to Grandma about her "heaving bosoms".
2 - No amount of Barry White can knock the "Itsy Bitsy Spiders" out of your head.
AND the number 1 most difficult part of reading and writing romance with toddlers is . . .
1 - There's nothing worse than having to break away from a hot and sexy love scene to change a poopy diaper.
Thanks for coming folks, I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress.
Seriously though -- Some great writers have written wonderful novels with toddlers in the house (Tessa Dare, for example) and some great readers (Dana Ebright, for example) have been able to get through tons of romance novels with tots around. I believe, now that I am following in these women's footsteps, that we owe them a standing ovation for being able to achieve as much as they did with such worthy adversaries in their midst.
Mothers of toddlers everywhere, I salute you!
I hope this gave you a chuckle and a smile remembering similar experiences you've had with your kids or imagining the experiences destined to come. My little ones bring all the fun and joy into my writing, reading, and living, and it was great being able to share this small glimpse into my crazy, silly, and seriously wonderful family with all of you.
Please, if you have kids, dogs, cats, husbands, whatever, share some of your romance reading/writing mishaps. I'd love to hear them.
If you'd like to connect with Robin, you can find her at the following places: