I sat, in my darkened bedroom, trying to write something Pulitzer-Prize winning.

Then, the thumping started. Regular, loud, obnoxious.

"Can you quit kicking your leg? It's distracting," I told No. 2, who was lying on the floor, book raised over her face, with her head on Dog No. 1.

"The dog's not a pillow," No. 3 snapped at his sister.

"Ewwwwww! The dog farted."


And this is what it's like to work from home. When your children are around.

The kids (and dogs, for that matter) have an entire house, a Wii, an Xbox and half-eaten chew toys to entertain them, but nooooo, on a day when I am trying to work, everyone is flopped on the floor in my room, making noise and passing gas.

I debate offering some incentives - ice cream maybe? - if they shut up and go away.

Dumb idea. I've been doing this mothering gig long enough to know better. If I even utter the "i" word, it'll mean non-stop interruptions.

"Ice cream? Really? Where are we gonna go? What time can we go? Oh - can we go now?"

And this series of questions will repeat, every 30 seconds, in an ongoing loop until we actually get in the car and go.

It's already tricky being a working mom, but our local school district complicated matters even more by adding about 50 vacation days to its calendar this year. I don't have anywhere near that much vacation time, so I've had to improvise. I mean, you can only palm your kids off on their grandparents so many times before they get tired of it and start begging off with questionable excuses. Did you know the American Medical Association recommends 10 colonoscopies a year for adults over 55? That seems excessive.

Anyway, I'm lucky because my job is pretty flexible and, as any online commenter has already said more than once, it doesn't require a lot of brainpower. Could you imagine a medical researcher trying to work from home?

"Timmy! No! Don't touch that!"


"OK, mister, off to the decontamination shower with you - and no dessert tonight!"

No, working from home with kids underfoot is not an ideal situation, so I can see, kinda sorta, why some employers (are your ears tingling, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer?) don't think it's such a hot idea. But parenting is all about making adjustments and sometimes you get lucky and things work out. Like today. Yippee! Check it out - I just got a column done.

Who wants ice cream?

Contact Kristen Cook at kcook@azstarnet.com or 573-4194. The mother of three, Cook considers herself the Rodney Dangerfield of parenting, especially after No. 2 said during an episode of "Modern Family" that she wished Sofia Vergara was her mom. Amazingly, Cook's husband did not shout "Yesss!" and pump his fists. Instead, he gave a mini-lecture on how comments like that can hurt feelings. And so, for one time and one time only, he earns a pass to not sleep on the couch the next time he makes her mad.