first steps

How do you have a baby and a career? I know people do it all the time, but I admit that I am baffled about the practicalities. Maybe it is easier if you work outside of your home. I don’t, and when I try to get anything done Sam starts typing on my computer or climbing the stairs or yelling or asking for milk or bringing me his favorite book or otherwise needing my attention.

So what I’m getting at is that it’s hard for me to work at home. I manage it, but just barely.

And then there is the part of working that forces you to leave the house once in a while. You know — meetings. Since most of the work I’ve done in the past year and a half has been for employers in Seattle and San Francisco and otherwise not in Los Angeles, so meetings have all taken place on the phone. And my blogging jobs tend to involve communication via email — even, though we do meet up in person once in a while. Doing internet work lends itself to internet communication, naturally, so I don’t have to leave the house much for work.

Working as a writing team is a great thing for Will and me, creatively. But it presents us with a rather unique problem: there is no one to stay home with the baby when we go to meetings. With the rewrite, this wasn’t a problem because Will’s co-producer on the project has a five-month-old baby, so we all get together and play while we talk business. With the other rewrite it worked out fine because we just said we were bringing Sam to our only in-person meeting (which was at a diner).

But today we had a real honest-to-god official meeting at a production company. We were pitching them our take on a property they own the rights to (a comic book you’ve never heard of) which we want to write as a screenplay. For money. You know. So it was a pretty important meeting.

I won’t hire a babysitter, as such. Sam has only ever been without us on a handful of occasions, all for less than an hour and only with our mothers and Uccellina (all separately). I am not comfortable leaving him with anyone he doesn’t know and trust — though frankly, he seems pretty comfortable with the checkout clerk at Trader Joe’s, so maybe I should worry more about my own comfort. I asked Erin, who sometimes goes for walks with us and doesn’t have a 9-5, but she had a gig this week. I am delighted for her, but was kind of stuck for other ideas. I had resigned myself to Will pitching without me. And really, that would have been fine. I’d have gone with him (the executive wanted to meet Sam anyway) and then excused myself to walk the baby around the neighborhood. Will has my proxy. It would have been fine.

And then Tem called, and he’s in town, and he offered to come with us. Sam hasn’t seen him since he was 2 months old. But it is amazing how quickly my rule of only people Sam knows goes out the window when it is someone I’ve known for nearly 15 years.

The meeting went well. Very well. I mean, no one threw money at us (which is a pity, as I have always longed to be in a position to duck flying hundreds) but there is a next step.

And tomorrow we meet with a manager who liked our original script enough to inquire whether we are seeking representation. I don’t know if it will go anywhere, but I am hopeful. And Tem is going to watch Sam again. Not only is it incredibly great for us, but let me tell you — Sam is madly in love with Tem. L-O-V-E.

This is long and rambly and full of information, some of it only tenuously connected to the rest. I am exhausted and elated and too tired to revise.

Here is a photo of Sam in a conference chair. If he could say more than “mama dada nana,” I imagine he would say, “I suppose you’re all wondering why I’ve brought you here.”


25 thoughts on “first steps

  1. Heath

    April 11, 2007 at 11:48pm

    Dude. I am excited on your behalf. Sounds like things are on the up and up! I hope the bounties you both deserve are preparing to drop on your head. Not like a brick or a piano, but like fluttering showers of $100 bills.

  2. Alex

    April 12, 2007 at 12:54am

    I see this picture and all I can think of is the beginning of Ministry’s “LiesLiesLies”:

    “Gentlemen. We have brought you together to inform you that we are going to overthrow the United States government.”

    But then I just got home after a 14 hour day at work so asdflka;jfes.

  3. Christine

    April 12, 2007 at 2:17am

    That picture cracks me up. And I, too, am very, very excited for you. Yay!

  4. Anna

    April 12, 2007 at 2:36am

    Congratulations on your meetings!

    I used to work with a film group here in Austin, and while I was there the head of the studios had a baby. She took a few months maternity leave and then she brought that baby girl straight back to the office with her. Producers would come in and she would give them a tour of the soundstages with Chelsea on her hip. Also, Elizabeth Avellan has a playroom for her kids at Troublemaker.

    Women like these, and you, make me believe all things are possible!

  5. Lolly

    April 12, 2007 at 6:07am

    Big, official meetings. How exciting!

    As far as having both a baby and a career? You learn to juggle.

    And look at cutie-pie Sam at that table!! I love the red hair. :D

  6. Violet

    April 12, 2007 at 6:07am

    Oh wow, sounds like very VERY cool things are brewing for you guys! I can’t wait to hear how it all plays out.

  7. Andrea

    April 12, 2007 at 6:18am


  8. nana

    April 12, 2007 at 6:38am

    Yeah Tem!!!

  9. Eileen

    April 12, 2007 at 6:44am

    See, I think he’s thinking more along the lines of “You’re fired!”. Sir Alan Sugar (or Donald Trump) has nothing on Sam!

  10. Jess

    April 12, 2007 at 7:12am

    Duck the hundreds? I always lunge at them with grabby hands out. Or, ‘always’ in my fantasies of having hundreds hurled at me.

  11. Min

    April 12, 2007 at 7:22am

    So many exciting things going on! Yay!

  12. Annika

    April 12, 2007 at 7:38am

    But you see, Jess, if I were in a position to duck them, that would mean I already had plenty.

  13. Joni

    April 12, 2007 at 7:43am

    *crossing my fingers for the next step* :)

  14. Crystal

    April 12, 2007 at 8:50am

    Congrats on the exciting developments, and much luck in the cash department!

    We have often been stuck without a babysitter. It is pretty amazing how I’ve changed my thoughts on who could watch him…I tend to think, “Well, it’s just one day…” Anyway, we have been friendly with the girl at the grocery store for a few years so when she offered to babysit, we took her up on it. She has a second job of caring for the terminally ill…for some reason that makes me trust her with Jack. Jack loves her.

  15. Angela

    April 12, 2007 at 9:07am

    This is all very exciting, with the meetings and such. Whee!

  16. Katherine

    April 12, 2007 at 9:22am

    I didn’t picture the hundreds as being loose, but as being the bundles, which I think would hurt if you took one in the face.

  17. Amy

    April 12, 2007 at 10:51am

    I’m going to have to assume that they didn’t throw money at you because they were trying to restrain themselves, so as not to turn you off.


  18. kara marie

    April 12, 2007 at 12:23pm

    What exciting developments! And really, who doesn’t love Tem after meeting him? Sam obviously has excellent taste in people.

  19. ~Sheryl

    April 12, 2007 at 12:53pm

    The pic of Sam is too cute. But man o’ man can I tell I’m a mother. The very first thing I noted was how far the scissors are from Sam. Non-Mom’s probably didn’t even see the scissors!

    It’s very hard being working parents. But I have to say we love the daycare Hunter is in. It makes it easier knowing Hunter is safe, loved and happy. As far as non-work hours, Hunter has only been watched by Grandparents – we are lucky to have so many so close. I can honestly only think of a handful of people that I would let watch Hunter at this point and only one if them isn’t related.

    I’m sending good vibes your way for your new endeavors.

  20. erik

    April 12, 2007 at 2:05pm

    wonderful news!

  21. Uccellina

    April 12, 2007 at 2:56pm

    Congratulations! You will make it work. People do. I don’t know how, but they do.

  22. allison

    April 12, 2007 at 3:00pm

    All he needs now is a big fat stogey. And a scotch.

    Too cute for words.

  23. Nell

    April 12, 2007 at 3:39pm

    Congratulations! It sounds really, really good. I am crossing my fingers for you guys!

    But really, how do people do it? You just do. It just becomes a part of your reality and you adapt to each new challenge as they change. As soon as you find a viable solution to one problem, a new one arrives to take its place. But somehow you just keep going, it’s what we working moms do whether it is at home, or out in the world, we juggle.

  24. CosmicAvatar

    April 15, 2007 at 6:02am

    Oooo, official meetings. Sounds most interesting. More, please.

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