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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the HUMOR genre (04/12/07)

TITLE: Stepchildren From Heaven
By Heather Scott


“Adam, stop digging up your nose!” I yelled. “Go get your sister’s doll out of the fish tank.”

“Ashley, go wash that lipstick off of your face. Now!”

I sounded like a sergeant barking orders at a line of petty officers. I was on the phone for five minutes, okay, maybe it was twenty-five minutes. Why do kids momentarily lose their minds when their parents pick up a telephone?

“How many times do I have to tell you that running in the house is not allowed??

“Take that toilet paper off of you. You are not a mummy.”

I have been married for three years, now. I was single with no kids and my husband was divorced with two kids. Needless to say, I instantly became a mother and a wife in one sweep. You can’t beat that deal.

“Ashley, that is a litter box, not a sand box. Get out of there.”

The kids live with their dad. Their mother could not deal with the pressure of raising children. She decided to leave everyone behind about five years ago. Ashley was two and Adam was four. I’m the only mother they really know.

“Who put the turtle in the sink?”

“I don’t know.” Sang Ashley.

“Not me.” Adam proudly proclaimed.

“One of you did it. I didn’t do it and your dad didn’t do it because he is at work. From now on, you guys don’t get sweets before you go to bed. Get this turtle out of here so I can disinfect this sink.”

“You get it Adam, you put it in there.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“Yes, you did.”

“Did not.”

“That’s enough. I don’t care who did it. Just get Mr. Pickles out of the sink so I can clean it.”

I gave them the look. They don’t like the look. They know that punishment is on the other side of the look.
As I cleaned the sink, I began to think. I went from single to married with children and pets. That was a huge transition. It was tough at first, but now, I couldn’t imagine life without them.

Although they are quite a challenge, the kids add a bit of spice to my life. They cause me to do more things than I did when I was single. I pray more, to stay grounded. I read more, to learn as much as I can about parenting. I write more, to keep from seeing a shrink. I yell more. No explanation needed there.

“Mom, he has my cd player.”

“Go to bed!”

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This article has been read 779 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 04/19/07
Lovely title, and I liked the tone of this piece--wry and loving both, a nice balance.

Here's an easy fix...in passages like this one: “I don’t know.” Sang Ashley.

“Not me.” Adam proudly proclaimed.

...the periods inside the quotation marks should be commas. Or if you want to keep them as periods, follow up with complete sentences:

“I don’t know.” Ashley shrugged her bony shoulders.

“Not me.” Adam held his chin high.

Lots of great potential in this piece.
Bryan Coomes04/20/07
Reading this piece brought several chuckles and just a big smile to my face as I thought about my kids, who currently are sleeping quietly in their beds, before tomorrow's cycle of circus antics starts all over again. What a joy & blessing (even in the midst of the toil) our children are and your piece certainly emulated that.
Jacquelyn Horne04/20/07
Ah, the wonderful funny life of a mother. No one appreciates the humor of it. Good job.
Val Clark04/20/07
Great the way you created a stron sence of place and charater and made me smile. Fav line: 'Why do kids momentarily lose their minds when their parents pick up a telephone?' I think this is a universal law. Made me smile. yeggy
Denise Pienaar04/20/07
My children are all grown-up now but I have never forgotten those days. Those endless days of bickering, arguing, frustration!! But also a huge amount of joy. I think this passage will bring a smile to every mother's face.
Esther Gellert04/21/07
When our first child was born, my husband's boss said to him, "The day will come when just thinking about your kids will make you laugh." He was SO right. I have four kids now and sometimes my husband or I will chuckle for no apparent reason. When the other gives that "What's so funny" look, we can say a few lines of a quote from one of the kids, and we both end up laughing.
It makes up for those moments when you're on the phone.
I enjoyed reading this. Thanks for the laugh.
Brenda Welc04/21/07
You didn't know that children are silent until a parent picks up the phone? Now that mine are teenagers I hate the dreaded stares I get when talking on the phone, I loved your writing I was with ya all the way!
Mo 04/23/07
I really liked this.