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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Parent (11/16/06)

TITLE: Becoming Mother
By Sandra Fischer
11/19/06


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Betsy stood with hands on hips, towering over the subject of her wrath. She spoke with a tone that commanded attention.

“How many times do I need to remind you to pick up your toys? Emily Ann – look at me when I’m talking to you!”

Emily Ann sat speechless, chin resting on her chest, eyes staring off into space.

“You never listen. No wonder I get notes from your teacher saying you don’t pay attention. If you don’t listen to your mother at home, it’s no wonder you get poor marks at school. What is it going to take to get you to straighten up? I don’t know what’s to become of you.”
Huffing and puffing her way around the room, Betsy continued her tirade, taking little note that Emily Ann had slumped further down in her chair. “When I was your age, my mother didn’t have to remind me twenty times a day to pick up my things and put them away. And – my teacher never gave me bad marks, because I always paid attention!”

Placing some crayons on the child’s table in front of Emily Ann, Betsy smoothed out a wrinkled coloring page which she had retrieved from the wastebasket. The paper had a red “X” on it. “Now, let’s see if you can finish this easy page correctly and color within the lines as you’re supposed to do and maybe you won’t get an “X” on it next time. Or, maybe you should just stay in your room for the rest of the afternoon and think about how you can do better.”

As Betsy turned on her heel to walk away, she stopped, her focus arrested by the tapping of heavy footsteps coming toward the door of the room. She quickly picked up the rest of the toys and stood facing the door, her heart beating not with anger, but with nervous expectation.


The figure in the doorway towered over her. “O.K., Betsy, let’s see how you’ve done. Hmm. . .except for these two crayons under the bed, your room looks much better.
If we just throw this away”, she said, as she picked up the crumpled coloring page from the table, “it will be almost perfect. You can come downstairs, now; it’s time for supper.”

“Can I bring Emily Ann with me, Momma?” Betsy asked.

“I suppose. Although, I should think that someone in kindergarten would begin to think of more serious things than playing with dolls.”


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Member Comments
Member Date
Ann FitzHenry11/23/06
Oh! I really liked this! Especially the twist at the end. I have children about that age and they absorb everything I do and say. Great reminder and good lesson, too!
Donna Haug11/29/06
Ouch! Your title was very appropriate. Our children really do imitate what they see in us, don't they. Makes you stop and think about what they see!