Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Break (02/06/06)
TITLE: Going, Going, Gone
By Carla Feagans
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Returning to my mound of laundry after placing the boys in separate corners, I was just finishing the towels and starting on the socks when I heard a crash followed by the tinkling of shattering glass. “Oh, no,” I groaned to myself, afraid to even turn the corner to inspect the damage.
“Ella broke another one of the new glasses!” Eric announced, a note of glee in his voice. He was usually the culprit, so he was basking in his moment of blamelessness.
Asking God for yet another extra helping of patience and strength to get through my morning, I helped Ella clean up the glass. I heard Jack bounding down the stairs, immediately starting in on Kristin. “Ew, what’s that smell?” Jack was asking. “Kristin, did you break wind?’
Kristin was blushing as she denied the charge. “Give me a break! Just leave me alone,” she told her brother. “You don’t have to be mean to everyone just because your girlfriend broke up with you last night,” she smirked.
“Be nice,” I warned, grabbing a second glass from Ella’s reach just as she was about to knock that one off the table too.
Right then, I noticed Eric out of the corner of my eye, climbing up on top of the TV.
“Eric!” I screamed. “How many times have I told you, do NOT climb up there! You are going to break your neck, not to mention the television.” I grabbed Eric with my free arm and placed him firmly on solid ground.
Apparently God must be too busy to hear me this morning. Where’s that darn husband of mine, anyway? I thought. It’s Saturday, this is supposed to be the day I get a break for once. Jason had left right after breakfast to go to the store, but he should have been home by now.
Kristin was tugging at my sleeve, interrupting my daydreams of running away screaming and never looking back. “Mom, did you hear me?” she asked plaintively. “Suze is on the phone, she wants to know if I can go with her to Florida over Spring Break. Please, Mom!” she begged.
“Believe me, I’d love for you to be able to; unfortunately I don’t think that’s going to happen,” I told her. I held up a hand to cut her off from the whine I could see coming. “Now’s not a good time, can we please talk about this later?” Could she not see that I was at a breaking point and maybe just a LITTLE busy right now?
Realizing that Ben was still standing in the corner, actually having listened to me for once, I hurried over to him. “Oh, honey, I’m sorry. You can come back and play now,” I told him sheepishly, reaffirming my conviction that I was definitely in the running for Worst Mom of the Year.
Outside, I heard a car door slam. Finally, Jason was back. About time, I thought, gearing up to blast him with the full force of my anger and frustration at his delayed return. My nerves couldn’t take much more.
Kristin was shrieking with excitement at the front door, but I couldn’t make out what she was saying. Jason opened the door and a chocolate Labrador puppy came bounding in with him. I gasped and dropped the glass I was still holding. “Hon, look, I know we said we would wait on getting a dog, but I couldn’t help myself,” Jason explained in a rush. He ignored the lasers shooting from my eyes. “He’s the perfect dog, from a great breeder, and labs are great with kids! And look how excited the kids are.” His enthusiasm was drowned out by the rushing of blood in my ears. I clenched my teeth to keep the expletives running through my head from breaking through my lips.
“…except for one little thing,” Jason was saying. “Um, …he’s not housebroken.”
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